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No Humbug on Safety: Santa’s Workplace Hazards

December 15th, 2020 Holidays,Workers Comp
Santa-in-the-workplace

With Santa’s crew preparing for the big night ahead, it’s essential to take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and non-hazardous journey. Although the North Pole might be one of the safest workplaces in the world, the attorneys at Daggett Shuler thought we’d help out Santa’s Health & Safety team by putting together a list of the most hazardous situations that Santa and his staff may encounter this season.

Who’s at Risk?

While it’s true that some occupations carry greater risk for workplace hazard concerns than others, the truth is that virtually anyone who has a job, including St. Nick himself, can get injured at work. The leading cause of workplace injuries is the failure to identify hazards that are present or could have been anticipated. Having a consistent, proactive process to identify and assess such risks is essential to any adequate safety and health program.

6 Types of North Pole Workplace Hazards and Safety Tips

Safety.  These hazards include slips, trips, falls, electrical hazards, and operating dangerous machines. When he’s up on the rooftop, Santa must use fall protection. Additionally, there are further considerations of access to medical care and supplies on his sleigh with the possibility of traumatic injuries. We can’t forget about the safety of Santa’s elves back at the workshop! They are also at risk while working hard, making toys with machinery. Safeguards should be installed to prevent contact with sharp rotating parts and materials.

Physical. Physical hazards are factors that can harm someone, including heights, noise, radiation, and pressure. Being acclimatized to the North Pole’s colder climate, Santa Claus could possibly suffer from heat stress when delivering presents in warmer temperatures. His fur-lined red suit is presumably not thermally regulated, and carrying his sack of presents would understandably exacerbate heat stress further. Santa and his elves must wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. As his preferred route of entry into homes is via the chimney, there is the additional consideration of work in confined spaces. To stay safe, Santa must be aware of and comply with the legislation around confined spaces. Finally, he should wear noise protection gear to avoid loud noises from passing jets.

Psychosocial. Psychosocial hazards can have an adverse effect on an employee’s mental health or wellbeing. Not only is Santa working long hours, but he travels through multiple time zones in one night delivering presents to children all over the world. Santa may suffer from significant jet lag due to the amount of travel required to meet his deadline every year.

Biological. Biological hazards are extremely dangerous. These include exposure to viruses, bacteria, and diseases associated with working amongst animals and people. Santa must always wash his hands before eating cookies and make sure his milk is not spoiled!

Ergonomic. Ergonomic hazards happen when the kind of work, working conditions, and body positions strain the body. Ergonomic safety hazards may not be noticeable at first. Still, roles that require lifting or sitting for long periods may cause severe damage over time. Santa and elves should always warm-up and stretch before starting their work, especially on Christmas Eve when he’s carrying around his large bag of toys. Not to mention that in a workplace where workstations and equipment are sized to comfortable dimensions for his elves, Santa would be considered a giant. Santa probably needs a dedicated ergonomic assessment and adjustment to prevent progressive-onset musculoskeletal disorders.

Chemical. Chemical hazards occur when an individual is exposed to any chemical preparation in the workplace in any form. Some chemicals are safer than others, but to some workers, being exposed to these hazards can result in skin irritation, respiratory system irritation, blindness and more. While making toys, elves should be equipped with proper chemical protective equipment such as gloves and eyewear to avoid exposure. Additionally, Santa should consider adding an exhaust fan to help remove contaminated air and reduce the hazard of toxic materials.

Happy Holidays from Daggett Shuler!

The lawyers and staff at Daggett Shuler would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

If you or a loved one sustained an injury at work, call Daggett Shuler today for a free, confidential consultation. Our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorneys are dedicated to defending your rights and will fight to recover the maximum benefits you deserve. Call us today at 336-724-1234 for a FREE consultation. 

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