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Whether you’re working on or around Christmastime, the need for safety at work never takes a holiday.
Adhering to workplace safety practices may even become more important as occasions like time off and holiday parties can interrupt the normal workflow and procedures. Small oversights can lead to serious workplace safety accidents if you’re not careful. Here are some of the best holiday safety tips to remember.
Lots of employees like to take time off during the holidays. And of course, many employers want to honor as many of those time-off requests as they can. After all, workers do need time away from the job in order to take a mental break and return feeling refreshed. But allowing too many people to take off can have a negative effect on workplace safety if the skeleton crew that’s left is overworked and overwhelmed. Consider coming up with a safety policy or guideline for how to handle time-off requests fairly and equitably from year to year, so that the same folks aren’t stuck working all of the holidays every year.
It’s very common to spend extra time gathering with family and friends during the holidays. Safety tips include getting enough rest, though. It’s easy to think that it’s possible to just power through feeling tired or grab an extra cup of coffee to alleviate fatigue. But tiredness can affect decision-making and threaten workplace safety. It can also prompt employees to nod off or outright fall asleep at work, which can be especially dangerous, depending on the nature of the job.
Practice social distancing, wear face masks, gather in small groups and screen your employees to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Celebrating the holiday season is surely different this year than previous years, so when you're at your company holiday party, follow appropriate guidelines set forth by the CDC and other health organizations.
Everyone wants to relax at the company holiday party but if no one is keeping track of which foods need to be kept hot or cold, everyone could end up feeling sick due to food poisoning. In order to minimize the risk of accidents, avoid serving any alcohol at work events, whether they take place on-site or off-site. Clean up from parties promptly, and take care of spills quickly. This will help minimize the risk of pests as well as slips and falls. Take care when leaving the party after dark, and avoid walking alone where possible.
Holiday lights, artwork, and related decorative items are a wonderful way to reflect your enthusiasm for the season. But take care to avoid overloading electrical outlets with light-up decorations. Use a ladder and not a chair to hang decor items. And take care in hanging items safely from ceilings and walls. Avoid laying extension cords and power cords across walkways. Ensure that the placement of decorations doesn’t present a fire hazard or block exits.
Holiday times are meant to be spent with family and friends, including coworkers. By embracing simple holiday safety tips, it’s possible to ensure that everyone at your organization stays well enough to celebrate holidays all winter long.
While many of these tips are common sense practices, like keeping walkways clear of holiday decorations and avoiding alcohol at company parties, others require some planning and forethought, like appropriate scheduling. It’s never too early to begin planning for a safe holiday at work with these safety tips.
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