If you are unlucky enough to work in an office over Christmas it can be tricky to make sure everything gets done with fewer members of staff and with adverse weather there can risks of accidents occurring, so what can be done to increase office safety over Christmas?
Office Safety At Christmas Procedures
You should already have office safety procedures in place (and hopefully they are regularly maintained and updated) but do they take into account adverse weather and working during the Christmas holiday period?
As an employer you are duty-bound to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment, this covers everything from making sure it is not too cold and ensuring that any car park and doorways are safe.
The first step we would recommend is a…
The Health And Safety Executive have some excellent risk assessment guidance along with handy templates you can use here.
We would definitely recommend that you take a look even if you already have risk assessment policies in place, to make sure that yours are up to date.
Is the car park prepared for bad weather? Some councils will grit small roads and car parks, but some may not especially if it is private property.
So, find out and if you are able to keep some grit or salt ready then get some now and you won’t have to worry about getting some at the last minute.
If you think about it from the perspective of an employee first, consider their journey to work.
Is it safe to drive or commute? This time of year, we can be subject to snow, ice, fog and sub-zero temperatures.
Flexible Working Can Help Office Safety At Christmas
These days, it isn’t always necessary for staff to have to be in the office all day every day.
Most employers offer some sort of flexible working options and during the Christmas period, this could be particularly useful for you and your employees.
If employees are able to work from another location during the Christmas period, particularly the period from Boxing Day through to New Year’s Day, then that would be ideal.
Dangerous driving conditions and holiday train and bus timetables could mean that employees spend longer travelling to and from work than actually being in the office!
Some employees may not be able or even want to work from home, so bear that in mind and try not to impose a blanket rule for everyone without at least discussing it with your staff first.
Lone Working Office Safety At Christmas
You may find that some staff will be lone working at Christmas, so it is important to put safety measures in place beforehand and with their agreement.
Whether they are working at home, in a café or a business hub, keep regular communications going.
We don’t mean phone them every half an hour to find out what they are doing but agree to a daily call at a set time.
Lone working can easily lead to staff feeling isolated, even if they are in their normal work environment, so a quick catch up with a Manager or Supervisor can help both of you be reassured that they feel happy and supported.
Having regular communications is also a good way of making sure you know where your staff are and that they are ok.
Not in a nosy boss or Big Brother way, but in a health, safety and wellbeing way.
If they are working in a public place, have they got home ok?
If they are lone working in the office, what measures are in place in case of an emergency or if they have an accident?
Lone Worker Devices For Office Safety At Christmas
Lone worker devices, such as the ones that we provide here at First2HelpYou, are a good all-round solution for these type of scenarios, you can set amber alerts which let the lone worker monitoring centre know where an employee is and how long they will be there for.
If that time period elapses, then an alert can be activated.
Lone worker devices also have a ‘man down’ function, so if an employee suddenly falls then they automatically send out an alert.
We have mentioned these specific functions because they are more pro-active then having to call for help during or after an emergency.
Of course, lone worker devices do this too and have other functions including a portal so that employees can easily see where their employees are located.
Get In Touch
We hope that we have given you some good ideas about office safety at Christmas, if you have any questions or would like more information about the lone worker solutions that we have to offer then please do get in touch.
We also have a buyer’s guide available here.
You can call us on 0333 7729401 email sales@First2HelpYou.co.uk or use our online contact form here.