During the busy lead up to Christmas, both employers and employees should give some extra thought to safety and self-care.

At the end of the year, everyone tends to be simultaneously at their most weary and their most busy: both in serious need of a holiday, and under pressure to get a lot of work finished before the break.

PCBUs need to be aware of the safety and risk issues that arise at this time of year., Increased workload and tight deadlines leading up to Christmas, hotter days, changes in shifts and short-handed rosters and the challenges posed by festive season celebrations (such as alcohol-fuelled behaviour) all present risks to both safety and the reputational of the organisation that need to be managed.

PCBUs should be proactive in addressing these issues:

  • Keep an eye on workloads and longer hours, and make sure safety is not compromised in the rush to get to the end of the year. Fatigue management is especially important, and managers should monitor stress levels and be ready with conflict management.
  • Ensure good safety induction of temporary / contract workers is carried out.
  • Remind workers not to compromise their adherence to safe work practices by cutting corners and ensure worker safety is still being put first despite the seasonal pressures.
  • Plan work functions carefully, setting boundaries and explaining behavioural expectations to workers. Be aware of fatigue and concentration issues the day after.

Workers also need to be mindful of their safety both leading into and over the holiday break.

  • Be realistic about your limits – if deadlines are just not feasible, take a proactive approach and consult with bosses, colleagues and customers to agree on a way to manage the issue.
  • Make an effort to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis and practice good sleep hygiene (no night-time screens, consistent bed and waking times etc.).
  • Stay calm and maintain good working relationships with your colleagues – letting the stress take over and putting others off-side will only make things worse.
  • Many people undertake extra travelling at this time of year so driving safely becomes doubly important. Plan your trip and your breaks.

Please contact QRMC for more information.