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Risk Assessment – Christmas Lights and Christmas Tree

The purpose of this Risk Assessment is to determine any potential risks and to explain how those risks are mitigated. Risks are assessed by the impact of the risk, if it were to occur, and the probability of it occurring. Risks will be mitigated where possible; any residual risk will be deemed to be so low as to be risk-accepted.

Christmas Lights: These are low power outdoor Christmas Tree lights connected by 240v mains extension cable to a private supply on private property. The extension cable is protected by a single socket RCD adapter at the domestic power socket. The RCD adapter is zip tied at ceiling height of the domestic garage. The connection of the lights to the extension cable is on private property and is inaccessible to the public and protected from water and wet weather with a water resistant covering.

Christmas Tree: This is an approximately 15′ high tree that will be placed on the public pavement area at the end of Temple Inn Lane, opposite the pub and garage near the Parish Council notice board. A heavy duty stand will hold the tree in place which is anchored by floor bolts to the ground. A contractor will use a JCB to position the tree in place. The contractor has their own risk assessment and public liability insurance for the use of the JCB.

Covid special measures for installation and then switch on filming: If there are covid restrictions in place, please wear masks where possible and stay 2m apart outside households. Parents and children to observe social distancing (from those outside their household) as they approach the Christmas tree. 

Iinjury from JCB
[Risk Impact 5, Probability: 4]
– Installers to wear high visibility vests and not approach the JCB during operation. While the JCB is being operated the installers are to constantly look out for any passing members of the public and warn the public not to approach and keep them away from the JCB during operation.
– Installers are to keep away from the JCB while the engine is switched on and to wait for the operator to signal permission before approaching the JCB.
– JCB operator to have their own risk assessment and public liability insurance for the procedure.
Installation accident
[Risk Impact 3, Probability: 4]
– Lights are not being installed higher than ladder height and above a hard surface
– Always two contractors present with one holding the ladder
– Installers have been provided with “Ladder rules” (See appendix)
– Installers have previous experience installing this Christmas tree
– Other than the JCB operator, Installers are not to use equipment higher than a step ladder
– Installers will install upper decorations and lights whilst the tree is lying on the ground to avoid overreaching
[Risk Impact 5, Probability: 3]
– Cables/connectors will all be well out of reach behind a high stone wall that is inaccessible to the public
– Mains connection is out of reach and on private property
– All mains power connects back to a RCD adapter. All outdoor connections to be protected from the weather and protected with a circuit breaker.
– Lights are low power Christmas lights and will be checked for any faults or visible damage to cables before installation.
– Clerk to arrange annual PAT testing to comply with Aviva insurance requirements (Ref email 10/8/21 BHIB Insurance)
Tree falling over
[Risk Impact 4, Probability: 3]
– Base to be bolted to ground
– Additional ropes may be used if deemed necessary for extra stability
– Clerk will check the weather forecast and arrange for the tree to be taken down or further secured with ropes if high winds are due (+31mph)
Car hitting tree
[Risk Impact 3, Probability: 2]
– Tree separated from road by more than 2 meters
Public walking into tree
[Risk Impact 2, Probability: 3]
– Walking space left around tree and street lighting allows for visibility of tree at night.
– A rope is extended from the tree to the domestic garden above head height so that there are no trip hazards to the public.
Tree decorations falling off and causing injury
[Risk Impact 2, Probability: 3]
– Decorations secured safely
– Decorations are not heavy enough, or of a material hard enough, to cause injury

Appendix 1: Ladder Rules

  1. Always face ladder when ascending/descending
  2. Always maintain 3 points of contact (2 feet + 1 hand or 2 hands + 1 foot)
  3. Top of ladder should never be used as a step
  4. Ladders should never be moved, shifted or extended while occupied
  5. Never carry an object or load that could cause you to lose your balance

Appendix 2: Scoring Guide for the Risk Assessments

Where scoring is used on the risk assessment, the following values will serve as a guide


1TrivialMinor cuts and bruises treated on site by first aid. Loss of <£10
2Non-seriousCuts and bruises which need medical attention. Loss < £100
3SeriousMinor injury which requires treatment as a hospital outpatient. Loss of < £1000
4Very seriousInjury which requires treatment
5CatastrophicSerious, permanent disability or death or loss of <£100,000


 RatingProbability ratio
1Almost impossible1/1,000,000
2Highly unlikely1/10,000

Risk Classifications

1-2Trivial. No Action required.
6-12Moderate risk. Wherever possible, action should be taken to mitigate this risk.
15-16Unacceptable risk. Action must be taken to reduce it to a level which is as low as is reasonably practical.
20-25Intolerable risk. Activity should be discontinued unless it is possible to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.