Employers Urged to Follow Safety Guidelines During the Holidays
With the holiday season upon us, the U.S. Department of Labor is reminding employers and workers to remain focused on workplace safety and health.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is offering resources to help keep workers safe year-round and as they carry out an array of holiday-related jobs, including working with lighted decorations, serving customers in packed retail stores, making rush deliveries, and picking and packing orders in warehouses.
The DOL shared a tragic story as a reminder of workplace safety.
An 25-year-old worker from Akron, Ohio was hanging holiday lights on a tree last month, when the fiberglass extension pole he was using made contact with a high-voltage power line.
The worker suffered severe electrical shock and later died.
“The holiday season is a time for celebration and reflection for many, but they are also occasions when employees face safety hazards found atop ladders or roofs putting decorations in place, in busy warehouses and retail stores meeting heightened customer demands, and working outdoors as winter approaches,” explained OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago.
“To make the holidays happy for all, employers must stress workplace safety and health and train employees to prevent serious and fatal injuries.”
To help employers and workers, OSHA released a video with nine tips to protect workers during the holidays:
- Train workers on safe work practices
- Provide hands-on on properly using equipment
- Delivery services and warehouse workers should wear bright, visible clothing
- Properly stack materials
- Create a detailed and flexible staffing plan to help reduce workplace stress
- Prepare an emergency plan
- Ensure entrance and exit location signs are visible
- Encourage workers to report safety and health concerns
- Seasonal workers have the same rights as full-time workers
OSHA also has information focused on keeping workers safe during the holiday season in retail, warehousing, delivery and other seasonal jobs, including special restrictions for young workers.
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