Workplace Safety Blog Post

Stay Safe this Holiday Season!

Christmas Lights
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Juliancolton

The holiday season is upon us, and that means trees, lights and lots of food. It also means that new fire, fall and health hazards exist, too.

This time of year, many people who don’t often use ladders do so to hang lights. Many of us also end up using questionable methods to string those lights together, often connecting too many strands or using extension cords that create tripping hazards.

These hazards often exist both at home and at work, as many workplaces decorate for the holidays. In either location, you should look out for the following dangers.

Fire & Electrical Hazards

Many fires occur in December, and Christmas trees or candles are often the culprits. If you have a tree at home or at work, make sure it’s kept away from heat sources and that it’s watered daily. A dry tree is more likely to pose a fire hazard. Candles should also be kept away from anything flammable. Place them in fire safe holders and blow them out if you leave the room.

When using holiday lights, you need to think about electrical safety. Never string more than three strands of lights together, and make sure none of the bulbs are broken and that the cords aren’t cracked or frayed. If you must use an extension cord, keep it out of walkways.

Fall Hazards

Ladder safety is very important this time of year, since many people who use ladders around the holidays aren’t regular ladder users the rest of the year. Make sure to select the appropriate type of ladder (self-supporting or extension), place it at a safe angle and keep one hand and two feet or two feet and one hand on the rungs at all times. (See our ladder safety infographic for more tips!)

Slips, trips and falls are also common when the weather gets cold. Ice and snow cover parking lots and driveways and they often get tracked indoors. Use proper measures to clear walkways and keep them as dry as possible. Applying traction tape to high-traffic areas can help make slippery spots safer, too.

Listen to our short podcast about leftover food safety.

Food Hazards

It’s true that many of us end up eating too much food this time of year, but that isn’t the hazard we’re most concerned with here.

Lots of food usually means lots of leftovers, some of which you might take to work with you for lunch. When stored improperly, leftover food can end up making you sick. Remember, food is safest when you store it in shallow containers. It also shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours and it should be eaten (or frozen) within four days.

Plan Ahead for Holiday Safety

The hazards present at work and at home during the holidays aren’t unusual ones, but just like any other safety hazards, they should be given adequate thought and preparation. Assess the hazards you’ll face and use common sense to avoid situations that could lead to accidents.

For more holiday safety tips, take a look at the holiday safety infographic below.

The 12 Days of Christmas Safety - Infographic by Creative Safety Supply
Infographic created by Creative Safety Supply

Additional Resources