It’s a Wonderful Time of Year! Let’s Keep it That Way!
Holiday plates overflow, we are more stressed, tired, rushed, and a little inclined to cut corners and bend a few rules. Although there tend to be fewer work accidents this time of year, it is no time to ignore those basic practices we rely on all year round to ensure those around us make it home safely to enjoy the holiday.
Hang the stockings with care. Don’t climb on chairs or other furniture to display your holiday decorations. Make sure step stools and ladders are readily available. It might just be time for a refresher course on ladder safety.
Ice and Snow
The weather might be frightful but make sure you have personnel dedicated to regular monitoring of walkways, job sites exposed to the elements, and parking lots. Remind workers to go slow. Put out extra salt containers and encourage regular use, especially later in the day when cleared walks can quickly turn into hazards, even if cleared earlier in the day.
You might want holiday lights to be the prettiest sight you see, but make sure you are not setting the place aglow. Lights need to follow Electrical Safety Foundation International’s recommendations for Federation Counsel guidelines. Inspect all lights and cords for damage before putting them to use. Extension cords and other decorations can easily be a tripping hazard. Keep walkways and transitions clear. Do not overload outlets or try to fit three prong plugs into two. Be sure someone is responsible for turning everything off at the end of the day.
Holiday stress and fatigue
When we are dashing here and there, we are distracted. When we are distracted, we are most likely to injure ourselves and others. Fatigue and stress are doubly hard to spot and combat but are an issue when work hours are longer, there are more orders to get out the door, and we are short-handed due to holiday work schedules and vacation time. Despite all these stresses, it is wise to consider extra breaks and down time. Sometimes less is more, rejuvenating workers and allowing time to remember to work smart, not just to get done quick.
Holidays are a time when we like to bend the rules a bit but safety can never take a holiday. Temporary workers, newer employers, and those who have been loyal workers for years deserve to spend their holidays home and healthy with their families. Incorporating every day best practices, safety refreshers, and continuing on-going safety dialogue is a must despite the season to fill our cups with holiday cheer.
GS wishes you and yours a happy and safe holiday season!