Six Safety Concerns During the Holiday Season
Each year, the holiday season is full of family gatherings, traveling, exciting events, and more. With all of these factors at play, comes a range of safety risks. To keep your holiday season bright and safe, here are six safety concerns to be aware of:
- Drunk & Drowsy Driving
- Ladder Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Workplace Fatigue
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- Food Safety
1. Traveling - Avoid Drunk & Drowsy Driving
If you have plans to travel this year, prepare ahead of time by checking that your car is in good shape, assembling an emergency kit and resting up before heading out. It is also important that you practice defensive driving as drunk and drowsy driving are still a major issue on the roads. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings throughout the duration of your trip.
- Winterize your car and ensure that you have an emergency kit available.
- Get a good sleep before departing to avoid drowsy driving.
- Plan ahead for any heavy traffic along your route.
- Buckle up! Make sure all of your passengers are safely buckled as well.
- Put away your phone or any other distractions while driving. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous.
- If you are attending a party, designate a sober driver to get everyone home safely. Remember: if you have to question if you are safe to drive, then you should not get behind the wheel.
2 & 3. Decorating - Follow Ladder & Electrical Safety
Decorating is something so many people look forward to each holiday season. While it can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Consider potential hazards when putting out decorations and be sure to use them in the safest way possible.
- Outdoor lights should only be used outside and inside lights stay inside. They are designed like that for a reason.
- Be sure to check the package directions for the number of lights that can be plugged into a single socket.
- Before hanging your lights, replace any sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
- Keep plugs off the ground and away from puddles and snow.
- When hanging lights, make sure that you choose the proper ladder for the job.
- If you don’t have a ladder, do not attempt to hang lights or decorations by standing on other objects.
- Turn off all lights and decorations before you go to bed or leave the house.
4. Managing Work & the Holidays - Workplace Fatigue
If you believe that you are experiencing workplace fatigue, speak with your manager or supervisor. Discuss possible solutions such as adjusting your work schedule or workload to better suit your current situation. Consider changes that you can make in your personal life to also support mental health. The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to try to manage workplace fatigue alone.
5. Outdoor Safety - Slips, Trips and Falls
As the weather changes, cold and icy conditions increase your hazard for slips, trips and falls. If you’re hosting a holiday party or having family coming over, make sure that you keep all walkways as clear of snow and ice as possible.
- Make sure that you wear footwear with good traction.
- Avoid walkways that are covered in ice. Use clear/bare pavement surfaces or grassy areas.
- If you have to walk on icy or potentially icy surfaces, walk with short, shuffling steps.
- Avoid carrying heavy loads, be alert and have your hands ready to steady yourself should you slip or lose your balance.
- Be on the lookout for patches of black ice, as they can be more difficult to see.
6. Holiday Treats - Food Safety
Food is a big part of the holiday season. Make sure that everyone can safely enjoy your holiday snacks and meals by practicing food safety.
- When handling food, wash your hands frequently.
- Keep any raw meat separate from fresh produce when preparing meals.
- Avoid cross-contamination of uncooked and cooked meats by using separate cutting boards, plates and utensils.
- When cooking meat, use a meat thermometer to ensure that everything is cooked to the proper temperature.
- Don’t leave food out for more than 2 hours after being served. Put it in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling.
- When cooking or baking for others, be sure to ask everyone if they have any allergies that you should be aware of.
- If someone does have an allergy to an item you cooked/baked, clearly mark the container to prevent an accident.
Don't let an accident or injury ruin your holiday season! Always remember to think 'safety' regardless of the holiday activity.