When planning seasonal events and decorations for any business, it's important to keep in mind these holiday work safety tips, as well as the need to protect the health of your employees during this socially busy season. Co-workers can enjoy the holiday season together, as long as proper health and safety precautions are observed at all times.
Holiday Work Safety Tips During Social Distancing
During times of increased social distancing, many individuals still have to go out to work making holiday workplace safety a necessity. For these people, holiday workplace safety includes significant health concerns. The holiday season is usually a time of increased social activity. So, if you must go out to work, keep all relevant OSHA regulations in mind. Your health and safety depend on protecting yourself and others. Also, make sure your employer follows the World Health Organization's tips for a healthy and safe workplace.
Holiday Tips for Protecting Yourself and Others
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you protect yourself and others by:
- Wearing a mask and keeping tissues and hand sanitizers handy
- Washing your hands as often as you can
- Avoiding close contact with co-workers and customers
Holiday Safety Tips for Remote Workers
If you're working remotely, it might seem that the holidays would be business as usual. However, this is the time of year when you're likely to have less time and feel more stressed because of the extra activity that surrounds you. For your mental health, it's a good idea to lighten your work load and give yourself time and space to relax and take care of your friends and family, as well as yourself. Due to the increased coming and going, the best holiday safety tip for remote workers and their families is to be extra cautious and follow the CDC Household Checklist during social distancing times.
Holiday Party Safety Tips
Employers want to show appreciation to their employees during the holiday season. If the workers are remote, an employer could have a virtual holiday party. However, for a business that requires employees to show up in person, it's safer for employers to forego their usual holiday party and opt for a holiday cash bonus to each employee instead.
Other Tips for Workplace Holiday Safety
In addition to increased health safety concerns during a social distancing holiday season, it's important to be mindful of potential safety hazards. The same safety considerations that apply to holiday decorations at home also apply in the workplace.
Fire Safety Considerations for Holiday Decorations
Before you start decorating, make sure all of your fire safety equipment is in proper working order.
- Make sure that your smoke detectors are working.
- Verify that the fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible.
- Be mindful of potential fire hazards when selecting holiday decorations.
- Do not use any type of decoration in your office that has an open flame.
Make careful choices about the types of holiday lights you use and ensure that the holiday lights are safe.
- Never put nails or staples through strings of lights, power cords, or extension cords.
- Take care not to connect too many strands of lights together.
- If you're decorating the outside of your office, verify that any lights you use are rated for exterior use.
- Don't put any types of lights on a metallic Christmas tree lights on it at all.
- Make sure that all lights and illuminated items are turned off when the office is closed.
More Workplace Holiday Safety Concerns
When decorating your workplace for the holiday season:
- Be careful that any extension cords used to connect lights or to illuminate other types of decorations are not tripping hazards.
- Don't place Christmas trees, gifts, or freestanding decorations in heavily trafficked areas.
- Make sure that your holiday decorations do not compromise workers' and visitors' ability to exit the workplace quickly if an emergency occurs.
- Do not place or hang any type of decorative items in exit corridors or on the sprinklers.
- Don't block exit signs or fire safety equipment with decorations.
Keep Your Workplace Safe During the Holidays
When preparing for the holiday season at work, simply incorporate proper workplace health and safety precautions into the planning process, and you'll be on your way to a having a holiday season that's both safe and enjoyable for your employees.