We can all agree 2018 had its ups and downs, and unbelievably, Christmas is almost here.

Santa Claus works in a high-risk environment, and this year we advise him to consider the following:

A chimney is classed as a confined space

OSHA defines a confined space as large enough for an employee to enter and perform assigned work. In Santa's case, it's to enter a household and deliver lovely presents (while accessing some cookies, milk and alcohol). By definition, a chimney is able to contain a hazardous atmosphere, cause entrapment and potentially contain flames. Therefore, every one of the estimated 91.8 million homes Santa visits should have an entry permit. In other words, an admin nightmare for a bunch of already overworked elves (378 million children's worth of toys don't make themselves).

Find out how a digital permit to work form could work for your business

Elves need appropriate PPE

Building gifts and being essential cogs in the Christmas machine comes with risk.  The elves need appropriate protection! It is recommended to wearing aprons and safety glasses and gloves when crafting toys, earplugs when operating (well guarded) machinery, as well as sensible outdoor clothing when tending to the reindeer (it’s very cold at the North Pole) – let's also hope the elves are not using lead paint…

Risk assessments should be carried out!

Never mind all of the above (and below) - the issue of Santa travelling 510,000,000 km around the world in 31 hours at a speed of 10,700,000km/hour is sufficient enough to carry out thorough risk assessments. This doesn’t include the fatigue of 31 hours of non-stop working, making Santa as technically impaired as a drunk person. How does he manage it?!

Santa’s sleigh (and reindeer) needs to be a health and safety dream

Just look at the picture below – hardly an EHS director’s dream. Santa’s sleigh should be fitted with both seat belts and an airbag (it doesn't even have doors). Reindeer should be fitted with non-slip PPE on their feet (risk of working at height on slippery roofs), have antler headlamps (Rudolph’s red nose is not as effective as a 5,000 watt bulb) and sufficient ear protection (passing planes and the sonic booms caused from travelling 3,000 times the speed of sound Phew! Santa has so much he should be taking care of, never mind his own health and safety…

Santa - A lone worker surrounded by hazards

Discounting the reindeer, Santa is a lone worker subjected to risky environments: confined spaces, poor access, plus the hazards that might be inside someone’s home. There's the added risk from carrying a massive sack of toys (never carry more than 10% of your body weight, folks!) therefore, the chance of injury with no one to assist is high! Hopefully he follows OSHA’s heavy lifting guidelines.

Too much festive cheer can cause festive fear

Children like to leave a little treat for Santa, be it cookies or a small sherry. Assuming Santa had 25ml of sherry at each delivery, he would be 47 million times over the drink/drive alcohol limits in the UK by the end of his shift. Similarly, if he had a mince pie or cookie at each household, Santa would consume an astonishing 31 BILLION calories! That’s plenty of energy, hopefully to offshoot the fatigue of a 31 hour shift (kids, maybe leave Santa a coffee or Red Bull next time).

Of course, Santa has managed this delivery accident-free for years now (with NORAD watching his every move each Christmas Eve, I guess that helps too). However, if you feel like the health and safety in your company needs some festive cheer or a makeover for a happy new year, you can find out about Pro-Sapien's enterprise solutions on SharePoint here.

The Pro-Sapien team wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019!


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