Christmas can mean danger in the workplace warns OSH
Wednesday 30 November 1998
Christmas celebrations and parties can mean safety in the workplace is compromised, sometimes with tragic results, the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Department of Labour (OSH) said today.
"The holiday season is seen as joyful and exciting, although in reality it can often be a stressful and dangerous time of the year," cautioned OSH spokesperson Lisa-Marie Richan.
"As thoughts turn to holidays and celebrations, less care may be taken in avoiding workplace hazards as the end-of-year mentality takes over. Also many workers, and in particular those in middle management, attempt to finish projects before the holidays begin, adding to both stress and inattention to everyday workplace hazards, such as occupational overuse syndrome.
"Celebrations held on-site have on occasion in the past led to stupid pranks which have left workers severely injured.
"Employers are also reminded of their duties to ensure that workers are not harmed while attending or when they leave Christmas work functions.
"Like any responsible host at any party, the employer must make sure that staff do not leave the workplace and drive intoxicated," Ms Richan said.
"Every worker should be safe this Christmas so that what should be a happy and cheerful event does not turn into a tragedy."