The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but it is also dangerous. Unfortunately, we often see an increase in the number of injuries during this time of year. The injuries are often caused by some combination of added responsibilities, stress, decrease work force, or simply a rush to get the job done. It is important that workers be careful not to let their guards down at this time of year.
Causes of Holiday Season Work Accidents
There are a number of reasons for the rise of accidents and injuries during the holiday season.
The holiday season can be one of the most profitable times for many businesses, but the increased activity requires employers to hire temporary or seasonal workers to keep up with the demand. Temporary workers are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents because they are inexperienced and unfamiliar with the company's safety measures. It is important for all employers to provide temporary workers with clear and precise safety policies and ensure they are thoroughly trained on how to operate equipment to avoid injury.
As people rush to finish their holiday shopping, traffic on the roads and highways becomes increasingly congested. For workers employed in the transportation industry, the heavy traffic puts them at added risk of an accident. Commuters and people who drive for a living must be sure to stay aware of their surroundings and drive safely to avoid accidents.
The holiday season can be a stressful time. In addition to the added responsibilities associated with the holidays, many people work overtime to keep up with production demands, meet end of year goals, or earn extra money to help buy gifts. This added stress leaves many workers fatigued. Fatigue is a common contributor to workplace accidents. Fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents and can also cause people to become complacent, which is particularly hazardous for workers who operate heavy machinery. Workers need to make sure they are getting proper rest at night and taking scheduled breaks during the workday to avoid making a careless mistake that could lead to a serious injury.
One of the great traditions of the holiday season is decorating the home and workplace with Christmas lights. However, they do not come without risk. The U.S. Fire Administration states the more than 400 people are killed and over 1,650 are injured each year in fire-related incidents caused by Christmas lights. It is important for all employers to make sure their decorations are safe. That means ensuring that electrical outlets are not overloaded and that lights and any other electrical decorations are unplugged while the building is closed.
Staying Safe During the Holiday Season
The holidays are a festive time and even a minor injury can put a damper on the season. An injury could cause you to miss out on time spent with friends and family and the added financial strain if you are unable to go back to work after the holidays. The weeks leading up to the holidays can be hectic, but it is important that you stay alert and take the proper safety precautions to avoid suffering an on-the-job injury during these times.