With Christmas only 2 weeks away, festive preparations are well and truly underway both at home and in the office; after Mary Berry switched on the lights in Bath, we wasted no time in putting lights up in our office and getting a tree. Yet amid the festive fun it should be remembered that Christmas can present its own risks to the workplace.
We have come up with a handy checklist to help ensure your business and your staff are safe over the festive period.
Lights are a quintessential part of Christmas but they can present a number of hazards; these can be easily avoided by adhering to a number of steps. Firstly, make sure the lights conform to the British Standard and any being reused should be subject to Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) as this will lower the risk of blowing the circuit or causing a fire. Secondly, when plugging in the lights there is a high chance extension cables or extended wires will be used, so make sure these are tided away to avoid creating a trip hazard for staff.
Not many people are aware of the fact that temperature in the workplace must comply with The Workplace Regulations 1992, which states that: “during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable”. In a typical workplace the temperature should be at least 16 degrees.
As many offices close, or have reduced staff numbers working hours over Christmas, it does leave many firms susceptible to crime. To minimise this risk check that both your CCTV equipment and alarm systems are working.
Preventing a fire can be all too easily overlooked yet is the most severe of all the risks most businesses face. As mentioned, it is crucial to have all portable electrical equipment PAT tested as lights and other seasonal electrical decorations increase the fire risk. Ensure that decorations and any other items do not obstruct any escape routes, fire exit doors or fire fighting equipment and that staff know what to do if there is an emergency. Also, make sure that you never leave electric lights switched on when the premises are empty. It is advisable to appoint a responsible person who will ensure that the office is safe and secure when everyone leaves for the Christmas break.
Finally, we wish you a safe and merry Christmas from all the team at Bluefin.