Why it Matters
The holidays mean more traffic, more shopping, and more stuff on the brain. That means less focus and vigilance when it comes to safety, both on and off the job. Combine that with the added stress and precautions needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve got a safety crunch on our hands.
The Danger of Distraction
Distraction is one of the leading causes of errors and accidents in the workplace. This is especially relevant in today’s digital age. In fact, a Digital Distraction & Workplace Safety study reported that 14% of respondents said at least one workplace accident happened because an employee was distracted by their smartphone.
This type of distraction could of course happen in any type of work environment — and in many industries, such as the skilled trades, a single error can lead to a serious injury.
All it takes to avoid dangerous distractions during the holiday season (and all year round), is extra awareness. Use the following key tips as a starting point for ensuring a happy and safe holiday season.
Focusing on Safety First
By following these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to helping prevent accidents and injuries on the job:
1. Keep your eyes, and your mind, on the task.
Most of the time, if you take a moment to reflect on it (preferably before you start the task), you can assess if you’re following good safety habits or not. Do you have the right traction or grip to complete the job safely? Are you placing yourself out of the line of fire? These are common errors of distracted workers.
2. Don’t skimp on sleep.
The holidays are a busy time, but it’s important to make sleep a priority. When the brain doesn’t get enough rest, cognitive processing slows and life-saving reaction times plummet. Reports show that fatigue-related crashes tend to be much more likely to result in a fatality or severe injury.
3. Exercise good cell phone habits.
Cell phone use increases over the holidays, whether you’re bouncing gift ideas off mom, or checking in with friends — just make sure that when you’re at work, you’re putting work first. A simple solution is to silence your phone during periods at work that require more of your focus.
4. Don’t fall for a false sense of security.
During the holidays, with the end of the year approaching and a host of other things on our minds, we tend to relax on some of the safety procedures we’ve been trained to follow all year long. Don’t get into bad habits, no matter what time of year it is.
5. If you’re a supervisor, be extra vigilant.
Those in supervisory roles have an important job this time of year. Pay extra attention, whether you’re on the floor, or in the field, and be quick to intervene when you notice bad habits or distracted behavior.
6. Mask up and keep your distance.
This year’s holiday season (just like the last), has necessitated continued safety measures for both work and personal life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that because the virus spreads through respiratory droplets, masks and social distancing are the best ways to keep everyone safe.
In many locations and industries, masks are still mandated, so be sure to wear your mask, and try to keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others whenever possible. Other measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) include frequent and thorough hand washing or sanitizing with at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer, and staying home when sick.
Remember that incidents can happen at any time, but especially during the holidays. Follow these safety procedures, plus those that apply to your unique workplace, and help be a part of making sure that everyone gets home safely for the holidays.
Get in Touch
At Workrise, quality and safety are our top priorities. We offer more than 200 flexible safety, compliance, and HSE training courses online and in person. Together, we will find the right courses to ensure the workers on your job site meet your requirements.
Let us help you with training, staffing, technology, and professional services so you can get back to focusing on what you do best. Visit our website at workrise.com.