How to Reduce Workplace Injuries During The Holiday Season
The holiday season is the busiest part of the year, which means the risk of worker injuries is higher as well. To keep the season merry and injury-free, here are a few tips every business should follow.
Mind the decorations
Injuries associated with overexertion and same-level falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation payouts each year. Actions like lifting, holding, pushing, pulling, throwing or carrying objects can lead to expensive injuries. To prevent injury, be sure to:
- Place trees away from fireplaces, radiators, and other sources of heat.
- Ensure the platform is stable before placing a tree.
- Ensure artificial trees are fire resistant.
- Before installing lights, check for fraying, bare spots, and gaps in the wiring insulation.
- When hanging or taking down decorations, use a step stool or ladder.
- Secure and cover wires on the floor.
- Provide extra breaks to employees setting up decorations.
- Train employees to use proper technique when bending and reaching.
- Restrict public access to areas where employees are installing decorations.
Be careful with holiday parties
A holiday party can be a time for employees to let loose and celebrate the season. It can also open up workers to injuries caused by inebriation and reckless behavior. To avoid alcohol-related injuries, only serve non-alcoholic beverages. But if you decide to serve alcoholic drinks, be sure to take the following steps:
- Instruct managers to lead by example during the party
- Designate a sober driver or ensure workers take a ride share or taxi home
- Avoid hard liquor and fruity drinks
- Host the party early in the day to discourage heavy drinking
- Serve plenty of food to minimize the effects of alcohol
- Offer activities to give workers something else to do, besides drinking
- Host the party at a restaurant where bartenders are trained to know when to stop serving a customer
- Invite employees’ family members (because people are less likely to drink heavily around children and spouses)
- Implement a voucher system to limit the number of drinks an employee can receive for free
Worker safety should be a priority for every employer year round, but especially during the holiday season. A great time doesn’t have to end in tragedy if the necessary precautions are taken.