The Holiday Season can be a fun time for employees in the work place. Decorating the office with trees, lights, candles and enjoying holiday parties and special activities are ways that employees can enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. Fun is good but keeping your employees safe is of utmost priority.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 12,000 people nationally are treated for falls, cuts, shocks, and burns due to incidents involving faulty holiday lights, dried-out Christmas trees, and other holiday decorations. Proper safety precautions MUST be observed at all times to avoid potential property damage and personal injuries.
Statistics show that incidents of fires rise drastically during the holidays. Christmas trees are involved in over 300 fires annually, resulting in an average of 10 deaths, 40 injuries, and about $7 million in property damage and loss. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working, and fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible.
Decorating the workplace can result in falls and dangerous tripping hazards. Avoid placing trees, gifts, or freestanding decorations in busy areas where people might run into them or trip over them. Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places safely. Before using a ladder, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Potential trips over cords or decorations and falls from a ladder are workers’ compensation claims waiting to happen.
It's also essential to make sure that your holiday décor does not block exits, cover exit signage, or block access to fire safety equipment. Do not place any type of decorative items in exit corridors or on sprinklers.
For a list of safety tips from The National Safety Council, click here
Holiday decorations should create higher employee morale at the workplace, not hazards and potential for accidents and injuries, so take proper precautions. Choose artificial greenery made of fire retardant materials for office decorating. All decorations (including trees, wreaths, curtains/drapes, hangings, etc.) should be either noncombustible (not all artificial trees are), inherently flame retardant (the label will say so), or have been treated with a flame retardant solution.
Although fun, the holidays may also be stressful. To help relieve that stress, save your easiest low-pressured tasks for the end of the day. (return phone calls, read professional literature, preview tomorrow’s schedule, tidy your work area). This allows you to unwind and leave work behind when you go home.
Stretch to relax...Take a deep breath and stretch, creating hand, arm, and chest tension. Then exhale, releasing the tension. Breathe normally on the next inhalation. Repeat until lingering tension is gone. A stress-relief breathing technique: rapidly blow out all the air in your lungs; then slowly breathe in through your nose. Repeat six times.
We at Arbill wish you and your employees a very happy and safe holiday season. Visit our web site for information on how we can help keep you and your employees safe during the holidays and all year round. Subscribe to our Safety Blog here to make sure you don't miss out on great safety information.