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An open letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

It’s that time of year again when young and old are starting to get excited about what you are going to bring them. But are you going to be in the best of health to deliver presents this year? Looking at your lifestyle I am more than a little concerned. This is why I think the future of Christmas is at risk for millions of people across the globe…

Pulling an “all-nighter” Research has shown that there can be undesirable consequences for working shifts, particularly those covering the night or with early morning starts. Working shifts may result in:

  • poor decision making and increased errors

  • internal body clock disruptions

  • fatigue difficulty sleeping

  • disturbed appetite and digestion reliance on sedatives and/or stimulants

  • social and domestic problems

So Santa, think about the negative effect all those long hours will have on you leading up to Christmas and how the “big night” may affect your ability to “deliver”. Take regular breaks, get help from your elves and you may want to consider a split shift to help you recover.

Lack of sleigh safety Seat belts save thousands of lives every year. Clunk click Santa! And as the sleigh is open you may want to wear a helmet too!

Squeezing down chimneys Breathing in all the build-up of soot and dust in chimneys is not good for the lungs. No one wants you to get occupational cancer. Wear the correct respirator - get a face fit test done (sorry the beard may need to go!).

Slippery conditions Snow and freezing temperatures create a serious hazard, and considerably increase the risk of slipping and falling. So, take care Santa and stick to well-lit paths that have been gritted or salted, and make sure those boots have a good grip.

The seasonal adjustment in figures According to Public Health England, five million cases of disease could be prevented if Britain got its obesity levels back to where they were in the 1990s, but based on current levels two thirds of middle-aged men will be obese by 2034. Don’t be another statistic Santa! The health risks of obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis. So lay off the mince pies! Maybe you could help Rudolf and eat a carrot instead?

Drunk and drowsy driving With all those glasses of whisky you have to drink, you must be over the limit. But even if you just stuck to the milk and biscuits, driving when tired is as dangerous as drunk driving. As Christmas Eve goes on, you will become more fatigued, meaning you will be less alert and your response time will slow down – you could easily overshoot a roof or fly into a tree! Make sure you are well rested before you set off and take regular breaks to recover.

Take the load off Carrying heavy items, especially over one shoulder, will increase the risk of musculoskeletal injury. I suggest you change the sack to either distribute the weight across your back like a rucksack, switch to a trolley bag or enlist the help of a few elves to share the load.

Sleigh-lag You must have heard of jet lag…well what about sleigh lag? Travelling so fast around the globe will mess up your body clock and leave you feeling drained and exhausted. Plan your itinerary well, make sure you keep hydrated, consider wearing compression socks and make sure you keep active on the sleigh to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT)!

If you follow my advice I hope you will continue to bring a smile to people's faces all over the world!

Take care and have a safe and happy Christmas.

KSH Safety Services

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