The holiday season is a time for celebration, but it can also be a time for serious injuries.
Holiday travel, stress, colds and flu, inclement weather conditions, and even seemingly innocuous lights and ornaments all pose threats to your employees’ health and safety — both at home and in the workplace. In fact, decorations alone cause more than 15,000 injuries resulting in an emergency room visit, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled these 10 simple tips to help ensure a safe and productive holiday season.
- Inspect lights and electrical decorations to make sure they’re in good working order. Bare wires, cracked or frayed cords, and sockets without bulbs can cause a shock or fire.
- Keep extension cords away from areas where they might pose a tripping hazard (doorways, walkways, etc.).
- Don’t stand on furniture to hang lights or decorations. Use a ladder instead, and be sure to choose the right ladder for the task.
- Clear walking surfaces of snow and ice to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
- Review winter driving safety tips with your employees. Many people will be hitting the road to visit friends and family during the holidays.
- Wash your hands. Cold and flu season peaks around the holidays. Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and keep workers healthy.
- Planning a potluck? Make sure your plans include proper food safety. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold, don’t leave food out for more than two hours, and wash your hands before preparing or serving food.
- As you gear up for the holidays, review your workplace drug and alcohol policy. Binge drinking is common during the holidays, and even moderate drinkers tend to consume more during the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
- If you’re hosting a company party, limit alcohol intake and provide safe ways for workers to get home (such as a taxi or ride-sharing service).
- Manage stress. The holidays can be fun, but trying to balance extra demands at home with work can be stressful. Allowing workers to take time off or offering flexible schedules — can alleviate stress and help workers be more focused and productive.
Download the 2019 Workplace Safety Calendar
By following these holiday safety tips, you can keep your workers safe as the year comes to an end. For more safety tips, topics, and resources, download our free workplace safety calendar.