There’s nothing better than the holiday season. Festive feelings are everywhere as you get to spend time with friends and family without the pressures of being on the job, and it’s an excellent opportunity to reset and refresh before getting back to work in the New Year.
The time right after the holiday season, though, might not be so great. Workplace accidents tend to be higher right after everyone comes back to work after an extended break. This makes raising awareness about workplace accidents after the holidays and how to avoid them an important topic for any workplace.
The New Year Is Perfect for Safety Reviews
With the calendar turning over from December to January, a new year has begun — and it’s a perfect opportunity to schedule annual workplace safety reviews. The fact that this corresponds with the end of everyone’s holiday vacation is no coincidence; people have had their minds on anything else but work for several days straight, and even the most well-drilled safety guidelines and protocols can slip the mind of a worker who’s thinking about the Christmas dinner leftovers in the fridge.
Try to schedule safety reviews for the first week back to work for everyone, as this can easily jog memories and begin getting employees back into the right mindset. It also gives your workers an opportunity to ease back into their routine instead of going full-bore like they were just on-site the day before. Taking an hour out of the workday for a safety conference or two the first week back might hit your productivity temporarily, but not nearly as much as a bad accident!
Use the Opportunity to Review and Recondition Tools
As much as your workers might need a mindset reset, the tools and equipment they need are likely to benefit from a little attention of their own. Before work begins once more in earnest, make sure to take an inventory of all equipment and tools to ensure they’re not in need of reconditioning or repair. This can catch potential problems before they become an issue, which could prevent an accident.
This taking stock of tools and equipment also provides opportunities to ensure your safety equipment (like PPE) is functioning and that and any related supplies are adequate. Surveying first aid kits to ensure they’re fully stocked, checking fire extinguishers to see if they need recharging, and making sure eyewash stations or emergency decon showers are working are just a few examples of preventative maintenance.
Setting Up Your Worksite for Post-Holiday Success
Preventing workplace accidents after the holidays takes a little work, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s natural to be a bit distracted at work after coming back form a nice, relaxing holiday, and that means you’ve got to be on your toes to make up the difference. Keeping your employees safe from harm means they stay productive as well, and that’s the best way to start a new calendar year.