Keep Safety a Priority this Holiday Season
As Andy Williams famously sang, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” But the holiday season also poses safety challenges for workers and their families. Not only is that to-do list twice as long, but weather can create road hazards and the flu bug can strike when you least expect it.
With the holiday season underway, coworkers are decorating their cubicles and taking part in the office potluck. Safety+Health magazine offers these tips to help prevent injuries while celebrating on the job.
When hanging decorations, use a step ladder; never stand on a chair
Don’t hang decorations from fire sprinklers Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords for damage before using Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or devices
Extension cords should never be placed in high-traffic areas or under rugs, carpets or furniture; never nail or staple extension cords to walls
Use appropriate length extension cords; never connect two cords together Make sure paths are clear of tripping hazards Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving
Food Safety Check for safe food-handling directions and guidelines Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food Serve prepared dishes on clean plates – never on dishes that previously held raw meat Keep hot foods hot; USDA notes that hot foods should be kept at 140° For warmer; use chafing dishes or slow cookers Keep cold foods cold - at 40° F or colder - by placing dishes in bowls of ice or by serving in small batches and replenishing from the refrigerator as needed Say no to foods that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours When planning your menu, be mindful of co-workers' food allergies
Tis the Season for Shopping Follow these basic safety tips to make your holiday shopping a success: If possible shop with a buddy; it’s not only more fun, it’s safer Park in well-lit areas and remember where you parked Keep your vehicle locked and valuables stored out of sight Leave your expensive jewelry and hand bags at home Don’t be distracted by your cell phone; always be aware of your surroundings Carry your purse close to your body, with your wallet in your front pocket Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason Don’t get overloaded with packages; try and keep one hand free Have keys in hand before you get to your vehicle Before you enter your vehicle, look around for suspicious people or situations and glance inside for intruders or signs of break-in
Always follow your gut; contact security or police if you feel unsafe
Parking Lot Crashes - More Common Than You Think
Here’s something you might not have considered: More than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in more than 500 deaths and more than 60,000 injuries. These numbers spike during the holiday shopping season.
Distraction is one of the leading causes of parking lot incidents. In an NSC poll, 66% of drivers said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. Using an app to put your phone on “airplane mode” is one way to stay focused on driving.
Beware of Online Shopping Scams You can find lots of great deals online, but if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Phishing emails or advertisements on untrusted websites often are designed to steal personal or credit card information, which can lead to the nightmare of identity theft.
Following are tips from the Department of Homeland Security for protecting your identity – and your money – online: Do your online shopping at home and make sure your wireless network is protected Set strong passwords and change them often Do not click on links or pop-ups, open attachments or respond to emails from strangers Read online reviews and consider the reputation of the site Look for a secure checkout, with a web address that starts with https The Federal Trade Commission also offers these tips to help you stay safe and secure online.
Have a SAFE, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Committee!