Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but I think you will all agree that the lead up to this day can be a bit hectic. There is usually plenty of work to get done before the lucky ones of us get to take a few days of well earned break time. This combined with Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, having kids at home and everything else makes for quite the schedule.

So this post is not about workplace safety, which is my usual thing. This time it will be about safety over the break so that you and your family can return to work safely next year. Christmas is about different things for different people, however one thing in common is that an injury is sure to put a dampener on things. Suncorp have published an amusing (yet still important) info-graphic on some injuries received during the Christmas break. Check the whole thing out here but here a few highlights:

  • Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year from cracker pulling incidents.
  • 50 people are injured each year as a result of using sharp knives instead of screw drivers to assemble Christmas toys.
  • 191 people have been admitted to hospital since 1991 with parts of plastic toys being embedded in their feet.

On a more serious note the Office of Fair Trading Queensland does annual review of toys and items used over the summer period for safety. This year they focused on toys for children aged under 3 years old and toys with magnets. This is relevant for any of us that have young children, but also those of us that are giving gifts to these youngsters.

This year the reviewed “7,200 product lines across more than 290 stores, resulting in 40 product lines being removed from sale. Further tests and corrective action by suppliers saw 6 of these lines cleared but the other 34 have been taken off the shelf.”

Fair Trading states that we should follow the 5 S’s of safety for toys and young children.

  • “Size: the smaller the child the bigger the toy should be (anything smaller than a 35mm film canister or ping pong ball is too small for a child under 3).
  • Shape: be wary of products that, because of their shape, may be easily swallowed or have sharp edges or points.
  • Surface: make sure all finishes are non-toxic (this should be stated on packaging).
  • Strings: anything over 30cm is a strangulation hazard for a small child and should be removed.
  • Supervision: nothing replaces close supervision.”

They have released a full list of recalls and items that may have particular issues in their latest newsletter. Check it out here.

So there we go. Another year nearly done. Lets come back bigger and better next year, with fresh resolutions in our pockets and make it a good one!

Momentum wishes you all a very merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. We look forward to seeing you safe and happy in the 2016.