For some of us, the holidays are filled with comical visions of lights that don’t blink, avalanches of snow falling from rooftops onto unsuspecting relatives and kitchen cooking escapades that end in mild disaster. While those might be funny on the movie or TV screen, the holidays can be packed with very real opportunities for serious injury.
On our Skanska USA jobsites, we plan every day to prevent potentially dangerous incidents. We invest in equipment and training so we are always prepared. Failing to carefully consider the downsides of household holiday chores – like stringing outdoor lights or deep frying a turkey – can be just as dangerous.
Here are some ways you can translate jobsite safety to home safety:
• Plan for the job before you start – similar to our jobsite Daily Hazard Analysis – including gathering supplies, tools, and protective gear;
• Stretch and warm up before carrying heavy objects like trees, presents, and lawn ornaments to their destination;
• Consider the proper protective gear for the job you’re doing, including eye protection and gloves. Depending on the task, respiratory and hearing protection and even a hard hat may also be required;
• Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy – or at least know where they are should you need them;
• Rather than climb on the roof or a ladder, hang holiday lights with an extension pole while standing at ground level;
• When stringing electrical decorations, use the proper gauge wires and extension cords and be careful not to overload circuits;
• Eliminate fire hazards, including open flames from candles and placing Christmas trees too close to heating elements like radiators and baseboards;
• Practice good housekeeping in the kitchen by cleaning clutter from countertops; don’t overcrowd the stove or oven to prevent holiday meals from catching fire or falling from their perch;
• Never drive when you are tired or compromised by “holiday cheer;” stay alert by eliminating distractions including cell phones;
• Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Discover more safety tips in this great graphic from the National Safety Council:
A safe holiday is a fun holiday – we hope you enjoy yours!