How does Santa stay safe at Christmas? – RoSPA Workplace Safety Blog


Delivering millions of gifts around the world is a complex and difficult task, even for Santa. Consider for a moment the impossibly short time he has to deliver these presents, coupled with the fact he has eight flying reindeer to manage along the way, it’s also a journey filled with many health and safety issues.

So what does Santa need to do to make sure he’s safe and that we all have a Merry Christmas? To answer that question we’ve compiled a list of 10 festive health and safety training solutions which those from the southern hemisphere might want to incorporate before implementing the world’s fastest delivery service:

1. Lone Workers

Ok, Santa’s got his herd of reindeers, but let’s face it, flying through the sky is a pretty lonely way of working. Moreover, it comes with added dangers – sudden illness or accident, abusive Christmas Eve revellers, or even mental health issues exacerbated by social isolation. Luckily for Santa, RoSPA offers a consultancy service for lone workers to help him deal with these challenges.

2. Confined Space

Clambering up and down chimneys is a tricky business, and let’s face it, Santa isn’t known for his svelte figure. Working in a confined space can be a dangerous activity, and the whole process of getting up and down the chimney stack presents a number of challenges – I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves “Does Santa have 3 points of contact when climbing up a chimney?”

3. Fire Risk Assessment

It’s going to be cold on Christmas Eve and many of us still have log fires, but do we think about poor old Santa descending the chimney whilst an inferno rages at the bottom? Before every descent, Father Christmas needs to carry out a full Fire Risk Assessment to ensure that he can deliver the presents safely. Otherwise it won’t just be chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

4. Machinery Safety

Whilst Christmas Eve is the culmination of Santa’s yearlong mission, the rest of the year is spent making all of the wonderful presents that make our dreams come true and ensure Dad has enough socks for another 12 months.

A lot of these presents require some pretty high risk machinery to make, so it’s important that Santa has a fully trained army of elves at his disposal. He’d be wise to put them all on a machinery safety training course first though.

5. Fleet Safety

Santa is responsible for a fleet of 8 reindeers and he has a duty of care to carry out the appropriate risk assessments. Of course, each reindeer may have different requirements – maybe Dasher’s a high risk sleigh puller, Comet dislikes working from height and Prancer struggles in icy conditions? Luckily, RoSPA offers a wide range of driver risk assessment options to help ensure that Santa and his fleet stay safe this festive season.

6. Manual Handling

Children can have lengthy present lists, so Santa’s sack can be extremely heavy and be quite the challenge to handle. The last thing we want is for Santa to suffer a work related MSD! Santa would be wise to consider manual handling training before hauling a heavy sack around all night.


Christmas has always been that time of year when everyone gets a little carried away, exchanging all manner of trinkets and ‘gifts’. Unfortunately for Santa, he’s the one responsible for storing, using, handling and transporting these gifts and there’s no telling what hazardous substances that might be there. Luckily for Santa, RoSPA offers COSHH training to help avoid exposure to any harmful substances.

8. Banksman

It’s very important for Santa’s little Elves to know how to effectively assist him when carrying out dangerous reversing maneuvers with his sleigh. After all, driving through the night can be extremely hazardous, particularly through a cloudy sky. The last thing we want is for Santa to have a driving accident on Christmas Eve, so the Elves would be wise to undertake expert Banksman training.

9. First Aid at work

Poor old Santa has so little time and so many mince pies to digest on Christmas Eve. This large consumption of sweet delights could very well become a choking hazard if he’s not careful. By undertaking First Aid at Work training, Santa can ensure he makes it through the night without any confectionery mishaps!

10. Work related stress

Finally, Christmas can be a stressful time of year for even the most seasoned festive supporters. Santa is no exception, he has a lot of pressure put on him and only one night to make it all happen. To avoid any stress reactions associated to work related stress, Santa would benefit from reading-up on how to prevent Work related stress.

And there you have it. For more information on any of RoSPA’s workplace safety training qualifications this Christmas, you can visit our website, email or call us on +44 (0)121 248 2233.

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