2019 Workplace Holiday Safety Do’s and Don’ts


Do make sure new hires have a lay of the land.

This is especially important if your business hires seasonal help to get through your crazy time of the year. Your unique facility is unfamiliar to newbies, even if they have tons of industry experience. Make sure they know where to find everything they need to do their work and be clear about specific responsibilities. The goal is maximum efficiency!

Don’t fail to train on lifting techniques and ladder safety.

Extra inventory, decorations, and other extraordinary items often pop up this time of year. Fortunately, many people embrace the holiday spirit of giving and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure success. Make sure that extra mile is safe by offering some additional or refresher safety training. Most injuries are related to falling off ladders, stairs, furniture, rooftops and porches. Rushing and the frustration of the holiday season make people forget to use proper lifting techniques. No employee (nor employer) wants to manage a workplace incident report and claims protocol at Christmas time!

Do turn off, unplug and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house; use battery-operated candles.

There’s something magical about the soft glow of candlelight during winter’s cold stretch. If this popular holiday décor element is part of your business, go with faux to avoid accidents and injuries. Fake flames definitely are preferred in a busy retail setting! Thousands of candle-related fires happen during the holidays, with Christmas and New Year’s Day seeing most candle fires. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (NFPA).

Don’t sacrifice holiday safety for an amazing display.

Before you start decking the halls of your business, think about what your decorations are made of and where you’re putting them up. Paper and cardboard signs, trees and wreaths, while festive, can be flammable. Avoid displays near heat and other ignition sources. What’s more, don’t obstruct emergency exit signs or overcrowd aisles in the name of holiday cheer. The “perfect spot” can’t interfere with a safe evacuation should the worst happen.

Do be smart about extension cords.

Don’t “daisy-chain” cords together to set up decorations in an area where a regular plug cannot reach. Extra lengths of cord are a recipe for trips and falls, and they’re also a fire hazard. (It feels a little bit like everything related to the holidays is a fire hazard, doesn’t it?)