The holiday season is upon us, which means office parties, festive decorations, and extended time off work. Hooray! It’s obvious why this is many people’s favorite time of year. What might be less obvious is how many holiday-related risks and unique dangers pop up around this season. Follow these workplace safety tips to ensure this season is truly happy and healthy for all.

1. Decorations

Decorating the workplace gets people into the holiday spirit, but it also creates changes within a normally stable, safe space. Make sure that anything you put up does not interfere with the sprinkler system or block exit doors. You also need to be aware of cords creating a tripping hazard. Fire is a serious concern, so be conscious of where and how you plug things in and make sure you keep a fireproof safe in office. Lastly, be physically careful when hanging up decorations that require you to use a ladder or equipment like staple guns.

2. Food

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without tons of great food — which is great, as long as that food is safe and sanitary. Encourage everyone to regularly wash their hands, rinse any ingredients if necessary, and cook raw meats to recommended temperatures. If there is a potluck in the office, once items arrive, keep food at its intended temperature. It’s also important to be mindful of food allergies. If an item contains common allergens like nuts, be sure to label it so that allergic employees can choose not to partake. Once the festivities are over, store leftovers properly and dispose of them after a few days. They may look tempting in the break room fridge the week after the party, but eating spoiled foods can quickly create a health hazard.

3. Alcohol

For some people, alcohol is synonymous with holiday cheer, but introducing drinking within a workplace environment can be tricky. If employees are allowed to drink during holiday festivities, encourage everyone to drink moderately and safely. Many offices choose to forego alcohol entirely to avoid the inherent risks and potential liabilities. In settings where alcohol is available, make sure employees have options for getting home safely.

4. Stress

The holidays are a lot of fun, but they’re also a lot of pressure. That is important to keep in mind when creating holiday schedules and choosing when to have work parties. These things may seem normal and fun, but for employees trying to balance work and other commitments, they can also create stress, which causes people to lose focus and be more prone to accidents. Be mindful around holiday planning and try to make plans that work for everyone.

5. Training

Some businesses rely on seasonal employees around the holidays. Even though these employees won’t be around for long, make sure they receive the same safety training and equipment as everyone else. Inexperienced, untrained employees could present a huge safety risk, especially during the busy, fast-paced holiday season. Spending extra time on safety upfront can prevent a lot of accidents later in the season.

6. Security

Unfortunately, there is often an uptick in theft and other property-related crimes around the holidays, when finances are tight and tensions are high. As part of holiday planning, review your security around the workplace. Make sure equipment and entries are secured and well lit. Interior security is even more important. Holiday festivities bring a lot of friends, spouses, and otherwise unfamiliar people into the office. The vast majority of these people are of course not thieves, but it’s still important to keep items like sensitive papers and cash locked up in a safe. If you plan to hand out bonuses or prizes, a safe is also a great place to store them. It provides ironclad protection and peace of mind so that security concerns don’t get in the way of holiday fun. We wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for any holiday festivities, and don’t ever lose sight of workplace safety. If you need to get a safe installed sooner rather than later, contact Western Safe this holiday season.
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