Safety During the Holiday Season

Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Dec 19, 2018

The holiday season is a festive time for all and is not the time to let down your guard when it comes to safety! Whether you’re entertaining employees at a holiday party, staying home and decorating for the holidays, or traveling to visit family and friends, you need to focus on safety as a top priority.

Safe Corporate Holiday Parties
Planning a year-end holiday party for your employees? While you want your staff to enjoy themselves, safety should still be your top priority during the holidays. If you choose to serve alcohol at your holiday party, you need to take steps to ensure everyone makes it home safely. Providing shuttles or drivers to take employees home or offering to pay for a cab or ride share service will help make sure those that choose to drink have a safe way home. Encouraging carpooling or designated employee drivers is not recommended as this could open the door to potential harassment accusations. Limit employee’s alcohol consumption by offering food and non-alcoholic beverage options such as water or consider giving employees a set number of drink tokens instead of offering an open bar.

If you do not want to incur possibility liability issues that come along with alcohol consumption at your corporate party, you may consider an alternative to the traditional evening party. Alternative options include casual day parties during business hours, family-friendly gatherings at a bowling alley or family fun center, or volunteering as a company at a local charity.

Wherever you choose to hold your party, take measures to provide a safe space. Clear walkways, parking lots and sidewalks of snow and ice and provide ample lighting both outside the party and inside the party venue.

Holiday Decorating
If you choose to decorate for the holidays, be careful with the decorations that you select. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of the home Christmas tree fires and 40% of home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room or den.

Safe Decorating Recommendations

  • Decorations should be flame resistant or flame retardant
  • Keep decorations away from lit candles and open flames
  • Before hanging lights outside, confirm that your lights are designated for outdoor use
  • For additional protection, use GFI outlets for outdoor electric decorations
  • Replace lights that show signs of wear, including broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Do not overload electrical outlets, cables, or extension cords
  • Use GFI outlets for outdoor electric decorations

Holiday Traveling
The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times and planning ahead will help make your travel safe and less stressful.

If you’re driving check for construction or detours along your route, check the weather before leaving, and take advantage of GPS app such as Google Maps or Waze. Equip your vehicle with a breakdown kit complete with a spare tire, jumper cables, fuses, flares, flashlights, blankets, water and non-perishable food. Try to complete your travel during daylight hours and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your final destination. All of the vehicle occupants should have a designated safety belt, and small children should be buckled into car seats at all times. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

We wish you and your family a very happy and safe holiday season!

Follow our #YHSafetyTips blog for weekly updates! If you haven’t read last week’s blog on Effective Safety Committees you can find it here.

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