Protecting bodies and minds against pre-holiday stresses


With the end of year fast approaching, ensuring your workers stay physically safe and mentally healthy is critical to avoiding unnecessary and costly injuries.

Whether you're employing temporary workers to cover for a busy trading period or delivering complex projects to a tight deadline, ensuring a safe workplace and focussing on positive mental health care is a duty of care all employers share.

According to WorkCover Queensland Executive - Priority Industries, Barbara Martin, there are some key things we can all do to make sure we stay safe this holiday season and prevent unwanted injuries.

'People rush to get everything done before Christmas. But after a busy year they're often already worn out and can easily lose concentration, which leads to mistakes and injuries,' Ms Martin said.

'WorkCover often sees a spike in injury claims at this time of the year for simple but preventable accidents, like falling from ladders, slips, trips and falls. So, it’s important for employers to plan activity in advance and reassure workers that protecting their safety is top priority.'

If employers are intending to hire temporary workers, delivering full safety inductions and training will ensure they are not performing unsafe work practices.

'Temporary workers are at most risk of injury at this time of year because they are hired for a specific purpose and timeframe and safety inductions may not always be a high priority,' Ms Martin said.

'There are also outside stressors that occur at this time of year, with Christmas parties, concerts and end of year school and sporting break up events causing workers to rush and take unnecessary risks.'

Also, spare a thought for workmates who might be doing it tough these holidays.

'It’s good to make contact with your workmates to check they are okay,' Ms Martin said.

'Sometimes just a chat can be enough to assure them they are not alone in dealing with challenging issues they may be experiencing,' Ms Martin said.

Top tips to reduce pre-holiday stress

1.Check in with your workers and look for signs of fatigue.

2.Involve workers in pre-planning activity and ensure there’s enough team capacity.

3.Remove any obstacles in the workplace that may impede traffic flow.

4.Be mindful that your people have stresses outside work, so check the organisation’s approach to work / life balance.

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