Health and Safety at Christmas

health and safety at christmas

Health and safety is important all year round, but there are a number of myths that have sprung up regarding the HSE and Christmas.

While the HSE (Health Safety Executive) are there to ensure health guidelines for Health and Safety are followed in the workplace, H&S is often cited as the reason for cutting back on the festivities.

These include;

Employees are not allowed to put up Christmas decorations in the office due to Health and Safety

Not true. Providing you use ladders safely and are sensible with the decorations there’s no need to be the Grinch this Christmas.

Indoor Christmas lights need a PAT (portable appliance test) each year

As long as you follow a few sensible precautions, such as checking for obvious signs of damage, why would you need to test something that’s barely used each year?

You can no longer throw sweets out when performing at a Panto

One panto stopped throwing sweets into the audience because they were worried about the cost of compensation should anyone get hurt.  The HSE states on their website that it’s highly unlikely someone would get seriously hurt if sweets are thrown out carefully.  As their website puts it – “Oh, yes you can!”

Carol Singers are a risk to health and safety

According to HSE over the past few years, a number of insurance companies have produced comprehensive “health and safety” guides for those wishing to take part in the age-old past-time of carol singing.  Likewise, parish councils have used “health and safety” as a way of stopping groups of singers congregating by demanding them to apply for permits to stop them upsetting local residents.

Such advice such as “don’t carry large amounts of cash” and “don’t sing in the road” are not requirements for health and safety.  Common sense, yes, H&S no.

Children are banned from throwing snowballs

Another myth in the world of Health and Safety. The HSE have more important rules to enforce that tracking down kids that are enjoying a good old fashioned snowball fight.

Health and safety prevents people from putting coins in Christmas puddings

A tradition that’s lasted for well over 500 years includes putting a coin in Christmas puddings. While it’s not something manufacturers do, and it wouldn’t be sensible to do it in a workplace environment such as a care home, it’s not something HSE are concerned about in your own home.  As long as you warn someone that grandma’s homemade pudding has a secret in it, it’ll not be a shock when grandpa bites into a 50 pence piece.

You can’t clear snow or ice from a path because Health and Safety guidelines say you can get sued

Even the government has words of wisdom on this one. As long as you clear snow and ice carefully, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Whatever you do this Christmas, we at Online Care Courses hope you have a lovely time. Just remember, when you get back in January, we’re here to help with all your Health and safety care training needs.

For more myths about Christmas and general Health and Safety, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm

Care Article  Care Home Fire Safety Risk Assessments

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