Holiday Workplace Safety — 9 Tips to Protect Workers Through the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, many businesses hire more staff, and regular employees must deal with more disruptions than usual. From a health and safety perspective, it can be a dangerous time in the workplace. Here are some of the top safety concerns that arise during the holiday season and nine tips to protect workers during the holidays. 

Top Workplace Safety Concerns During the Holidays

While the holidays are a busy and exciting time for many businesses, there are reasons to be cautious. Worker fatigue is a common issue due to a combination of overbooked schedules and larger workloads. Stress and distraction are other problems during the holiday season, which are two issues that can lead to serious workplace accidents and injuries. 

Finally, rushing and improvising are common safety concerns. Instead of relying on established safety protocols, businesses might ignore or miss obvious hazards to meet deadlines. This can lead to serious accidents like slips and falls, falls from heights, and electrocutions. 

9 Tips to Protect Workers During the Holidays

As the holiday season arrives each year, retailers and logistics companies hire thousands of seasonal staff to meet increased demand. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reminds employers about their obligation to provide a safe workplace. Specifically, here are nine tips OSHA offers for protecting workers during the holidays. 

1. Train Workers on Safe Work Practices

Employees can’t be expected to adhere to safe work practices if they don’t know what they are. According to OSHA, employers must provide ongoing safety training to workers in a language they speak and understand. 

2. Deliver Hands-on Training for the Proper Use of Equipment

Employees, whether permanent or seasonal, should never just be left to their own devices when it comes to using equipment. Employers have a responsibility to offer hands-on training for the proper and safe use of workplace equipment. 

3. Require That Warehousing and Delivery Workers Wear Visible, Bright Clothing

Some holiday stores and warehouses operate late into the night or even around the clock during the holiday season to satisfy consumer demands. To keep workers safe in these reduced light conditions, employers should require that warehousing and delivery workers wear bright, visible clothing. 

4. Reduce Stress by Creating a Flexible and Detailed Staffing Plan

Workers and managers will likely experience fatigue and stress during the holiday season due to longer shifts, increased workloads, and more traffic on the roads. Fatigue can lead to frustration and errors at work, sometimes resulting in injuries. You can lessen these problems by offering workers a flexible and detailed staffing plan. 

5. Stack and Store Materials Properly to Prevent Injuries

If your backroom or warehouse is using aisles or shelving incorrectly to store excess inventory, this could create a safety concern. It’s vital that materials are stored properly, and aisles are kept clear to prevent workplace injuries. 

6. Ensure All Workplace Directional Signage is Visible

Retail facilities and warehouses can look much different than usual during the holiday season. Businesses must have clear directional signage and post clear exit and entrance signs so workers can find their way around or leave in case of an emergency. 

7. Prepare an Emergency Plan When Large Crowds Are Possible

Speaking of emergencies, riots, fires, and other tragedies are known to happen when large crowds of shoppers converge. Retailers must create and communicate an emergency plan to deal with these tragic situations and minimize injuries. 

8. Encourage Workers to Report Any Health or Safety Concerns

Holiday workplaces are known for being busier and a bit unorganized. This can lead to inefficiency and the potential for workplace accidents. Employers should encourage workers to immediately report any workplace health or safety concerns so they can be addressed quickly. 

9. Remember Seasonal Workers Have the Same Rights as Full-Time Workers

It can be tempting to treat seasonal workers as “less than” permanent employees. While they may not remain on the payroll long-term, they have the same right to a safe workplace as full-time employees. 

Learn More About Workplace Safety Requirements

OSHA’s safe work practices were developed to protect the safety and health of workers —- during the holidays and throughout the year. Without them, the level of workplace accidents, injuries, and deaths would be much higher than what we see today. 

Most U.S. employers are subject to OSHA’s standards, meaning workers have the right to a safe workplace. If you’ve been injured at work and want to learn more about workplace safety requirements, contact an OSHA Injury Attorney directly. 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *