It’s the Holidays, Why Not Abandon Safety?
Recently, as I was presenting workplace safety to an organization in my capacity as a Workplace Safety Speaker, a comment was submitted to me by the COO that I wanted to share with you.
“Mike, I really want you to hammer these guys in your Safety in the Workplace talk. Last year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a few of our guys decided to have an unauthorized party in the breakroom. One of them got loaded, got into his car and landed in the hospital for two weeks.”
The Safety Messages
As a Workplace Safety keynote speaker, I know first-hand that the holidays often bring out the worst in people due to faulty judgment and a “relaxing of the rules.” In fact, the holidays can be doubly difficult on organizations because many employees, not normally subjected to safety messaging, go ahead and make tragic mistakes.
- Compiling OSHA and National Safety Council data, I point out in my safety keynote messages at least 7 areas where safety violations potentially occur in companies:
Stress, rushing and frustration – employees, often stressed by shopping, preparing, rushing, shopping, carry it right over into the workplace. These factors, combined with workplace tasks can result in terrible lapses of safety judgment.
- Being tired – As a continuation of my first point, being exhausted from trying to do too much in too little time has proven to be dangerous. Being tired leads to poor decision making.
- Ladder safety – “Marge” or “Pete” back in headquarters, in their zeal to decorate the office, have often scampered up rickety ladders and have had awful accidents. Falling off a ladder is never a good thing.
- Electrical Awareness – No, you can’t put up decorations in a fire hazard area, and you can’t run multiple cables off of a single outlet…and then there are major tripping hazards. A lack of electrical awareness has resulted in many serious injuries.
- Falls and Slips – Holiday injuries, whether caused by running on a wet, icy surface, or inadvertently failing to clean up oil or grease is no laughing matter.
- Bad egg salad – Who is in charge of bringing the perishable food and who is in charge of refrigerating it prior to the company party? It sounds like a joke from afar, but have you ever heard of an employee winding up in the hospital because proper food storage and preparation was not observed?
- Drunk driving. Last year, nationwide, more than 700 deaths (and untold injuries) occurred from drunk driving. Many of these accidents were from holiday parties. Tolerance for drunk driving – or even “buzzed driving” must be zero. No exceptions, whether the CEO or the temporary factory employee.
In my experience as a workplace safety motivational speaker, I want everyone in your organization to understand that while the holidays might be a lot of fun, no amount of fun can replace a tragic outcome from a safety violation. Let’s all look out for one another.
Abandon safety? Not on my watch – and never on yours.
Book Mike Hourigan, Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.