Workplace safety is important at that time of year when our thoughts inevitably turn festive. Here in the UK, we spend millions of pounds decking out our homes with Christmas sparkle – and this trend seems to be expanding into our offices and workplace premises.
The popularity of fairy lighting and decorations has grown considerably in the last decade, with more and more businesses wanting to wish their customers – and employees – a Merry Christmas by kitting out workplace and offices, shop facades and receptions with Xmas lighting.
However, as with all decorative lighting there are hazards whether it’s indoor and outdoor, and to avoid a Christmas ruined by fire damage, businesses are being warned to take workplace safety precautions.
Manchester-based Loss Assessors Cherry and Griffiths have some tips for you.
Geoff Williams, director of Manchester-based professional loss assessors Cherry and Griffiths, said: “We’ve all read cases where faulty wiring or overheating cables on Christmas lights have caused catastrophic damage so businesses would be wise to ensure their decorations this year are safe and are unlikely to put their premises or staff at risk.
“Business premises are exposed to an increased fire risk when it comes to Christmas decorations as by their very nature they are left empty at the end of everyday when everyone returns home and also for up to a week over the Christmas break.
Accidentally leaving on lights could result in a workplace safety issue like a fire which will give you more than a headache in the New Year. Instilling a culture of safety among your workforce this festive season will help you avoid becoming a victim of fire damage.”
Tips to ensure workplace safety at Xmas
1) If your office or commercial premises has been using the same old lights year after year, it would be wise to consider upgrading them this year so they are less likely to fail.
2) When purchasing Christmas lights, only purchase those which display safety marks such as the BS Kite mark
3) Inspect any bulbs or cables for damage and dispose of them safely if this is the case.
4) Don’t run cables under carpets where they can be damaged
5) Do not place lights in contact or close to other decorations and flammable materials.
6) Always switch lights off when nobody is in the building.