The countdown to Christmas has begun and, with most festivities cancelled last year, many workplaces will be looking forward to bringing a festive feel to their working environment in 2021. However, it can be easy to forget about health and safety and compliance at this time of year.
Dan Lee, Managing Director of phs Compliance, says putting up Christmas lights and decorations, which are not normally part of the workplace, brings with it new risks and hazards that must be considered first.
“It sounds obvious, but it is surprising how many businesses forget that Christmas lights and decorations need to be considered as part of health and safety and compliance procedures in the workplace.
“After all, Christmas lights are an electrical item and should be treated in the same way as any other electrical item, like kettles or printers, which need to be regularly checked to ensure they are safe to use. It is a legal obligation. You may want to have them PAT tested before using them, especially if they have been in the back of a cupboard for two years because of the pandemic. The end of the year is a great time to book your PAT testing, so why not incorporate them into the annual PAT test of all your portable electrical appliances and start the new year with some peace-of-mind?
“It is easy to get carried away at Christmas and one of the most common things we see is overloaded plugs. Unfortunately, if a plug is over its capacity it could easily start a fire so it’s really important not to take the risk.
“General health and safety matters should be a high priority when putting up decorations in any case. Ensure there are no trip hazards, keep wires tidy and secure, and make sure that decorations don’t block escape routes like fire exits or any safety signage. It’s also important to ensure decorations are safe and secure to avoid fall hazards.
“If in doubt, talk to one of our team and get some advice to ensure you are staying compliant this Christmas.”
phs Compliance is one of the UK’s leading providers of workplace compliance and building engineering services, offering everything businesses need to stay safe and compliant.
Fully accredited by all leading industry regulatory bodies, phs Compliance has the largest team of specialist statutory testing operators in the industry. It provides statutory electrical services including testing (including PAT tests and fixed electrical testing), inspection services, maintenance, and remedial work. As the UK’s leading provider of electrical testing with nationwide coverage, phs Compliance ensures workplaces of all sizes stay safe and compliant. It is part of the phs Group.
phs Compliance also offers a comprehensive project design, installation, commissioning and maintenance service for fire and security systems.
Accredited to the highest standards, phs Compliance offers significant experience, technical expertise and nationwide capability to support customers’ capital expenditure project needs for fire systems and security systems.
phs Compliance also offers expert project management services, including the design, supply and installation of everything from power and lighting to electric vehicle charging points.
With over 400 engineers across the UK, phs Compliance delivers more than 14 million compliance inspections for 35,000 customer sites nationwide every year.