Safety Tips for the Holidays
As November draws to a close, and December rapidly approaches, the retail and hospitality industries are kicking into high gear. The Festive Season comes with its own unique set of risks and hazards, not just in the retail and hospitality sectors, virtually every business will be impacted in some way over the holidays. Now is as good a time as any to make sure you and your staff stay safe and healthy through the next few weeks.
As your organization prepares for the holidays, here are some potential health and safety risks to keep in mind:
- Seasonal Hires – many businesses require temporary help to meet the increased demands of the holiday season. Seasonal workers are at high risk for workplace accidents and injuries just like any new hire, possibly more. Since their employment is temporary, things like safe practices, accident reporting procedures and performance issues can be glossed over, leaving them and the people they work with vulnerable to workplace hazards and risks. Safety training is just as important as training them to do the job they were hired to do.
- Office Decorations – whether its putting them up, taking them down, adjusting how you move in the workplace or the potential fire hazards, with every change in the workplace the risk of accident or incident increases. Climbing ladders, hanging lights, maneuvering around extension cords, wiring, tinsel, and other decorative ornaments all pose safety concerns.
- Fatigue, Stress, and Distractions – during the holidays there is often too much to do, in too little time. It’s not just the pressure of trying to plan all the social gatherings, shopping, and travel but the work-related pressures of overtime, year-end deadlines and preparing for time off that can be overwhelming. Feeling stressed, tired and/or distracted while at work are all threats to workplace safety.
- Health and Wellness – trying to stay healthy this time of year is extra challenging. It’s the start of cold and flu season, then throw in a busy social schedule combined with all the other stress of the holidays and it’s no wonder the immune system gets overburdened. Encouraging flu shots, ensuring the workplace has a good supply of Kleenex, hand sanitizer and cold & flu remedies can help prevent the spread of communicable diseases and the inevitable time loss in sick days. Reminding staff of safe food handling for office parties and potlucks can also minimize sick time.
- Road Safety – whether it is due to shopping, socializing, traveling or holiday deliveries, the roads are busier during the holidays. With an increase in traffic on the road, the incidence of drunk or distracted drivers also rises, as does the risk of accidents. Even the most cautious of drivers can be caught off guard by the actions of other vehicles, so whether you are driving to or from work, driving for a living or driving for pleasure, extra attention to the road is necessary. It’s not only ensuring your own safe driving practices but it’s being aware that other drivers on the road may pose the bigger threat.
Regardless of whether you look forward to the holidays or dread them, the festive season is ladened with all kinds of demands on our attention and our time. Make sure a workplace accident is not a contributing factor by remembering to keep health and safety a priority.
For further tips and information on health and safety during the Holidays you can check out the following:
- The Perils of a Seasonal Worker: http://www.bclconsulting.ca/the-perils-of-the-seasonal-worker/
- 3 Questions that will help keep your seasonal worker safe: http://www.bclconsulting.ca/its-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/
- The value of flu shots: http://www.bclconsulting.ca/flu-season/
- 12 steps to decorating your office safely: https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Articles/Decorating-your-workplace-for-the-holidays.aspx
- Workplace holiday safety tips: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/15004-workplace-holiday-safety
- 25 Holiday Safety Tips for work and home: https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Articles/25-holiday-health-safety-tips-for-work-and-home.aspx
- Workplace Holiday Safety: https://safety.lovetoknow.com/Workplace_Holiday_Safety
- Holiday Stress: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16377-holidays-add-extra-stress-for-workers-survey-finds
If you would like more information about the WCB’s Benefit of Doubt policy, how it is applied and how it impacts your premiums, you can contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca, by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.