The holiday season is a time for decorating, shopping, sharing gifts, and celebrating; during this time, we often become anxious with last-minute deadlines, work commitments, and holiday activities. It is also a time of year when there is an increase in illness and injuries; the year-end time of fun and festivities can add hazards to the workplace. To lessen the stress and potential hazards that lead to illness and injuries, it’s important to take the time necessary for planning to ensure a safe holiday season.
• There is an increase of illness and injuries during the holiday season;
• Before beginning to decorate the workplace, make plans, take safety precautions, and decorate safely;
• Basic safety precautions that everyone should observe;
• Inspect decorations and follow manufacturer’s recommendations; and
• Manage your stress level by reaching out for support.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers information and workplace safety tips on their website that will inform you of the potential hazards and ways to prevent them. Before beginning to decorate the workplace, make plans, take safety precautions, and decorate safely. Ensure all employees receive safety training; review ladder safety, lifting
techniques, electrical and fire safety, and fire-safety equipment. When preparing for the holidays, incorporate proper workplace health and safety precautions into the planning process. These safety precautions will vary depending on the work
environment. However, there are some basic safety precautions that everyone should observe to keep themselves and their co-workers safe.
Inspect the decorations and lights for breakage; when running lights end-to-end, follow manufacturer’s recommendations; avoid extending electrical cords across walkways; keep decorations away from heat sources; check fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and ensure everything is working properly; use ladders and step stools when decorating; keep the work
area clean and orderly.
If things become overwhelming or stressful, stop what you are doing, take a short break, and refocus on the task. Manage your stress level by reaching out for support, practicing healthy eating and sleeping habits, exercising, and making time for yourself.
As always, stay safe out there!