With the most magical time of the year approaching, Optimum Safety have put together some top tips about workplace Christmas decorations and keeping safe. By following simple safety precautions, you can ensure that your employees enjoy this festive time, and your business is protected from unwanted hazards.
Christmas Trees & Lights
- Artificial Christmas trees are a safer alternative than real trees. Real trees can be a serious fire hazard if they dry out.
- Ensure any artificial trees you purchase are flame retardant.
- Choose a safe position for your Christmas tree which is away from any heat source and ensure the tree does not compromise any escape routes from the building.
- Ensure lights have the UK British Standard Kitemark or CE mark and check that the cable is not damaged.
- Before use, inspect Christmas lights for damage. If they are damaged do not use them. Ideally for office use they should have an in date Portable Appliance Test (PAT.)
- Turn off Christmas tree lights when staff go home for the night.
- Check the fuses for lights are the right type (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use).
- If bulbs blow, replace them.
- Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper.
- LED lights are the best to use. They use much less energy and do not give off heat.
- Always visually inspect extension leads for damage before use. Extension leads should have an in date Portable Appliance Test (PAT.)
- Never overload sockets or extension leads.
- Do not use block adaptors because some do not have a fuse.
- Always ensure the extension lead is not going to create a tripping hazard.
- Never join multiple extension leads together (daisy chaining.)
- If you use a cable drum, always completely unwind the cable otherwise the cable can overheat.
Consider the risk of fire hazards when putting up Christmas decorations:
- Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard could burn easily.
- Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
- Consider small children when putting up Christmas decorations – make sure they are out of reach.
Putting up Workplace Christmas Decorations | Safe use of ladders and stepladders
We recently posted a blog on keeping safe whilst working at height – Keeping safe whilst working at height – Optimum Safety (optimum-safety.co.uk)
- Never stand on furniture when putting up decorations.
- Only ladders and steps conforming to Class 1 or EN131 to be used.
- When using ladders and stepladders, ensure that only employees who are competent use them. (To note. All employees working at height must be trained in working from height and for any equipment they may be using).
- Always visually inspect ladders and stepladders before use including checking the steps, stiles and feet are in good condition. Do not use if damaged.
- Before use ensure all feet are in contact with the ground and that they are level.
- Ensure employees wear suitable footwear when using a ladder.
- Ensure employees never overreach when using a ladder.
- Always ensure employees maintain three points of contact (hands and feet) with the ladder.
- Consider the risk of the ladder being knocked by opening doors.
We offer an online eLearning awareness courses on health and safety in the workplace including working at height and practical face to face training options if this is something your business needs. Contact us to find out more.