The construction industry is one that can become stressful in the lead-up to Christmas as workers try to get projects completed before the new year. It’s a time often marred by stress, strains and injuries for a number of reasons.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland says construction and mining workers are most prone to stress and a spike in workplace injuries over this period.
MATES in Construction, a charity tackling construction mental health issues, provides some useful advice for workers to avoid the Christmas stress,
Get out and mix with others if you are alone. Linking up with others and getting together to make things happen can be beneficial.
Do something for others less fortunate by volunteering to help charities/homeless people
For religious, simply attending the local church for Christmas services may help
MATES in Construction operations manager, John Brady also highlighted the importance of workers supporting each other during this time of the year especially for those who may be having a tough time such as those who have lost a loved one and may be depressed over the Christmas season or those who are without their kids over the holiday due to divorce, separation etc. He advised workers to check with their mates and ask if they are okay, especially if their behaviour changes.
He also advised workers to “trust their gut instinct” if they feel their mate is not doing so well by telling them you sense something is wrong and asking if you can offer support.
Why Is This Important?
Statistics show that workplace injuries rise over this period. According to WorkCover Queensland Customer Group Executive Melanie Stojanovic, workplace injury claims normally rise in the lead up to Christmas as people become tired and weary. Many workers don’t concentrate enough, leading to mistakes and injuries. She also explained,
“We think people are getting worn out towards the end of the year, and they don’t concentrate as much, which leads to mistakes,” she said.“There’s also the possibility that in a rush to finish off tasks leading up to the end of the year, people again let concentration and mistakes happen.
“We seem to get a lot of simple accidents, such as slips, trips and falls around this time of the year.
“There are also the outside stressors that occur at this time of the year, with Christmas parties, concerts and end of year school and sporting break up events for children, which people might be thinking about, or rushing off to get to.”
To find out more about injury management, WorkCover can be contact on 1300 362 128.
The MATES in Construction helpline is available for over the holiday season on 1300 MIC 111 (1300642 111).