Welcome back to work!
We hope that you have had a lovely time spent at home with friends and family, playing with your new presents, enjoying some party games, and avoiding the worst of the excess of the holiday season.
We know that the transition back to work can be difficult, but we are here to help guide you! Your workplace might feel somewhat unfamiliar, so it’s important that we keep an eye out for unforeseen hazards, feel refreshed and alert, and that we get our heads back in the game!
Statistically, the first days back after holidays are a period of high risk. Here are a few things to consider in order to return to work safely:
- Discuss the daily plan with those around you. How will you handle the tasks safely?
- Don’t assume that everything is exactly as you left it before Christmas. Consider what could have changed, what new hazards may have developed, and who you should speak to about these changes.
- Use your knowledge, expertise, and training. Does the job feel and look right? If it doesn’t, stop, think, and consult with your supervisor! Chances are you’ve developed a good sense of what’s safe and what isn’t. Trust your gut feeling.
- Avoid shortcuts! Although tempting, shortcuts are often hazardous. Stick to what is planned and avoid the potential pitfalls of the “leap of faith”.
- Make allowances for the environment and the conditions. It’s likely to be cold, and underfoot conditions can be treacherous. The cold weather can cause exposed hands to go numb and your brain could feel slow. It’s best to think, plan and be careful rather than recreating the “Bambi on ice” scene.
- Be aware of risk-tolerant behaviour. Although everything might feel like normal, risks can lurk behind every corner. We must remain vigilant and make sure to review risk assessments, method statements and ensure that all safeguards are in place before we begin to work.
- Develop backup plans. Sometimes, things don’t go how we imagined. That’s why it’s important to develop some backup and emergency plans, even if you hopefully won’t use them.
- Work together! In order to ensure everyone’s safety, it’s important to work together. Even if you aren’t technically responsible for others’ safety, you might be someone others look up to. That means that every person within the company should be leading by example.
Even if it feels a bit overwhelming to return to work, remember that you are competent, experienced and surrounded by like-minded people. And, if you are ever unsure, PHSS can help! Contact us today!