Getting a large Christmas tree for your office or workplace can spread some much-needed festive cheer and boost morale.
Just get a contractor in to do all the hard work…right?
The problem is, you need to ensure your contractor is going to do everything needed to ensure your beautiful Christmas tree is in the right place and twinkling into the New Year.
If not, you could be left with a scene I saw at the lobby of one workplace a few Christmases ago.
There, the contractor simply delivered the tree and didn’t put it in place or decorate it, as the workplace had thought they would. That left staff having to move furniture, move the tree, and use ladders to decorate the tree themselves.
All of this was done quickly, but had their employer carried out health and safety assessments of the work? Had all the staff involved been trained in manual handling and working at height?
Employers have a legal duty to protect their staff from the risk of injury and assess those risks under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
The workplace had thought that decorations would be supplied by the contractor. So, had the employer PAT tested the Christmas tree lights which were eventually used?
What would an employer’s liability be if one of the staff had an accident?
What could an employer do to avoid this?
The key to avoiding this situation is good contractor management.
Compliance software such as Mango can help you scope out a project and agree terms with a contractor, ensuring both of you know who is doing what work.
It can also help you comply with health and safety regulations at each stage of a project if your staff need to become involved.
It will help you easily break down what’s needed including, in this situation:
How to carry out a health and safety assessment of a situation
A list of potential risks
Which staff are trained in manual handling
Which electrical equipment had been PAT tested