Keeping a lid on Christmas mishaps

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A mix of Christmas madness, the year winding down and parties galore means workplace hazards can be easily forgotten and mishaps and injuries can happen. So, while trying not to be a killjoy, Business.govt.nz ­is calling on employers to remind employees what could happen if they get too carried away over the festive season.

According to the agency last holiday season saw the manufacturing sector record the most ACC claims of any industry, closely followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing. The construction industry also had a relatively high number of claims for injuries in the workplace.

Some of the more unusual accidents to cause injury over the holiday period include employees who dropped a beer keg onto their foot; strained their shoulder while lifting a Christmas tree; cut their mouth running into a wire; and injured their back picking up a Christmas ham.

Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, were the most common type of injury reported to ACC over the 2012/13 Christmas period – lacerations and puncture wounds were the second most common. Also high on on last year’s list were burns, fractures, dislocations and foreign objects in eyes.

ACC's Head of Insurance Products and Injury Prevention, David Simpson, told HRM Online the message for employers and employees alike this Christmas is to "end this year as you mean to begin the New Year – safely”.

"With the new agency WorkSafe New Zealand now up and running and giving direction to the important task of making our workplaces safer, we're better placed than ever before to address this country's work-related injury rates,” he said.

"But at the end of the day, ACC wants Kiwis to come and go safely from every activity in their life; be it work, recreation, traveling on the road or spending time at home.

"If we all factor in safety in our day-to-day activities, hopefully we'll all get to enjoy this Christmas and the rich experiences that go with it.”

Business.govt.nz recommends the following tips to keep the workplace injury free over the Christmas/New Year period:
  • Stretching and exercising throughout the work day
  • Providing adequate training to casual and temporary employees
  • Making sure workstations are set up to be ergonomically friendly
  • Putting employees through a first aid course
  • Restricting the need for staff to work overtime
 

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