Safety in the workplace needs to be the number one priority for employers. When it comes to the holidays, special considerations are necessary. While decorating the office is a great way to spread holiday cheer, if good safety practices are neglected, good times can turn to tragedy in an instant. Here’s some important information about workplace safety during the holidays.
Here are some tips to keep your office and employees safe this time of year:
- Be smart when choosing holiday lights. Staples and nails should never be driven through strings of lights or any types of cords. It also is important that you don’t connect too many light strands together.
- Consider using miniature lights with cool-burning bulbs and make sure that the lights you use have been tested for safety. It is important that indoor lights are only used indoors and outdoor lights are only used outdoors.
- Never put lights on anything that could catch fire and never use electric lights on a metallic tree. If you do, the tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights and someone touching the tree could be electrocuted.
- If you plan to put up a tree, an artificial one is usually the best choice. If you decide to have a live tree, make sure to keep it hydrated so that it does not dry out and become a fire hazard. It is a good idea to spray live trees with flame retardant.
- Trees should be tightly secured so they don’t fall over on anyone.
- Do not place trees in front of a heat source such as heating vents or space heaters.
- Open flames should always be avoided. Candles cause approximately 10,000 fires each year so use with extreme caution, if at all.
- Decorations that are plugged in should not be left on overnight or when there is no one in the building. Always designate one person who is in charge of checking that all lights and decorations are unplugged at the end of each workday.
- When decorating for the holidays, cords and decorations should be placed where they will not become tripping hazards.
- Heavy trafficked hallways should be free of large decorations.
- Make sure your holiday décor does not block any exits or fire sprinklers. It also is important that exit and emergency signs aren’t covered by decorations.
- The holidays are a good time to double check that smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working order. Everyone in the office should have received training and be aware of where all fire safety equipment is located and what to do in the event of a fire.
The holidays are a wonderful time for people to enjoy themselves and get into the spirit of the season – the workplace is no exception. By taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that you and your employees have a safe and festive holiday season.