Green Slime: Halloween, Hazards and WHS tips
Rose Training talks the spooky side of work health and safety.
Nothing screams scary like a big ol’ WHS hazard coming out of nowhere, right? Right? Believe it or not, unexpected accidents at the workplace can be one of the most terrifying things to happen to you and your colleagues. And unlike the swift subsiding of the shock when you see a person robed in a white sheet asking for lollies at your front door, injuries at the workplace can have far-reaching and long-term consequences for the victim.
In fact, in 2010–11, there were 132 570 workers’ compensation claims for serious work-related injuries or illnesses. At Rose Training Australia, we aim to take the scary out of WHS. And what better time to mop up the green slime (see: slip hazard) than Halloween! In this blog, we are going to take you through some WHS tips to ensure you aren’t spooked by a workplace hazard this year.
WHS Tips #1: Scary statistics, less scary ways to curb them:
Here are a few surprising, facts gathered by Safe Work Australia about workplace injuries:
- One-quarter of serious claims required 12 or more weeks off work
- Incidence rates of serious workers’ compensation claims increase with employee age.
- Work related injury and illness were estimated to cost $60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of GDP.
Here at RTA, we believe that these kinds of statistics can be curbed or reduced through thorough WHS education: Not just to people who work in hazardous environments but every worker, in every kind of environment. Every workplace must have a WHS representative who is not only the resident WHS nerd, but someone who actively discusses, encourages and incites awareness about WHS issues at the workplace. Topics like the best kind of footwear for your office, the consequences of having a 5”4 high pile of coffee holders (guilty and caffeinated as charged), or what kind of food or drink you should serve at your next work party is relevant, interesting, and most importantly WHS related.
WHS focussed discussion like this can foster a more safe and vigilant work environment where everyone looks out for each other by minimising the creation and tolerance for work health and safety hazards.
WHS Tips #2: Having a work Halloween party? Keep it WHS friendly!
Like with any other workplace shenanigan, it’s important to keep the balance between fun and safety at your work Halloween party. Follow these WHS tips to make sure that green slime doesn’t become a slip hazard!
Food and Drinks:
- Make sure to check the ingredients of any food dye you are using to make your snacks and nibblies wacky colours!
- Ensure that there are alcohol-free beverages available and a range of healthy food (like veggies and dip or a fruit platter) on offer.
- Make sure they don’t become a trip hazard. No long trails of cloth or fabric at any workplace event, but especially Halloween! With the amount of masks in attendance, eyesight and peripheral awareness has already been diminished. Tripping becomes much more frequent as a consequence.
- No sharp, pointy things on your clothes. Try to keep anything that protrudes out of your costume rounded and flat, so as to reduce the risk of injuring someone as you walk past them.
- Keep it PC. Prejudice is the wrong kind of scary.
- Make sure you have signs up that clearly point to areas of your work that have been decorated; whether it be with green slime, fake cob webs or a scarecrow propped up in a corner.
- Make sure the decorations aren’t trip hazards; that they don’t rest at eye level and they aren’t poisonous or painful.
Also, remember to be mindful of your colleagues’ beliefs about Halloween. Some people may not enjoy dressing up as an ‘evil’ figure or may not wish to be part of the Halloween festivities at all. One way to make sure everyone can get involved is to simply host a fun and enjoyable costume party outside of work hours. That way, you can dress up if you want, but if you don’t want to, that’s cool too!
Our next WHS courses are:
- 11th November ( Tuesday Evening WHS Cert IV)
- 17th Nov (WHS Cert IV Block course)
- 24th Nov (WHS Diploma)