The holiday season brings joy and festivity, but with it also comes increased risk of workplace accidents due to decorations, parties, seasonal workers, increased customer traffic, and unpredictable weather. To keep your business hazard-free this season, follow these five tips:
- Use caution when decorating for the holidays. 12,000 people are treated each year for injuries related to holiday decorations. Holiday lights are popular but potentially dangerous decoration. Check each strand of holiday lights for defects before using and never use staples to hang lights. Don’t leave lights on when office is unattended. Don’t use extension cords if possible; not only can they easily become a trip hazard, but a fire hazard as well if not used in accordance with electrical guidelines. Don’t overload electrical outlets.
- Holidays are prime time for fires. Candles contribute to 10,000 fires each year. To avoid fire hazard, use only battery-operated candles. Another fire hazard is real trees, accounting for 300 fires annually and resulting in $7 million in property damage. If using a real tree be sure to keep it well-watered and away from heat sources including furnaces and fireplaces. Look for decorations that are noncombustible or flame retardant for the office and check that smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are in working order.
- Keep aisles clear and all emergency exit signs visible when decorating. Decorations must not cover sprinklers. Ensure people can still easily move through areas where you have installed holiday décor or holiday displays.
- This time of year brings extra packages, which means more bending and lifting. Ensure all workers are trained on proper lifting techniques. Ladders are also in use more during the holidays when stringing lights and accessing warehouse stock. Be sure workers know proper ladder safety and never overreach.
- More than 25% of workers will be injured on the job in their first year of employment. Be sure all temporary workers are fully trained on their jobs and on their work locations before beginning work so all of your workers can get through the holiday season safely.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
For all the latest in workplace safety, visit www.myosh.com
By Stacey Wagner