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Top Tips for OSHA Compliance During the Holiday Season

December 20, 2016 | Staffing Blog

We may be ushering in the “holly, jolly” season, but OSHA compliance is no laughing matter.

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s no surprise many employers are finding themselves at bit at odds with…well, themselves.

This time of the year, however, is probably the most difficult time to achieve a balance between managing a safe and a happy workplace. There are cupcakes and snowflakes and decorations and experienced staffers taking extra time off… not to mention, in many organizations, an increase in orders and an increase in new hires, temporary workers, or both.

OSHA has issued a number of holiday-specific bulletins in the past, and they are worth reading (or re-reading). Among the perennial tips:

  • Decorate Smart. Make sure that any and all holiday decorations – in your offices, on the shop floor, and in all public or reception areas, meet or exceed code. You may enjoy the iconic light display scene in the Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation movie, but at the office, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) doesn’t find it funny. Electrical fires, caused by holiday light displays, increase at this time each year, in homes and workplaces. And it should go without saying that extension cords can be a fall hazard.
  • Don’t Take a Training Holiday. No matter how smart your new hires seem, no matter how much you’d rather send them to the holiday party than to the training room to watch videos, safety doesn’t take time off. (And, OSHA accident reporting happens 365 days a year.)
  • Weather or not… in many parts of the country, snow and ice can appear at this time of year, increasing not only driving hazards, but also slip and fall accidents in your parking lot or building entryways. While mid-day temperatures often melt the first few dustings of snow before lunchtime, sidewalks and lots can be very slippery as your first shift is coming to work…or your third shift is going home. Be sure that your snow and ice management plans are in place, and personnel is trained and ready, to handle the season’s offerings.
  • Cheers? Think twice, at least, before allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed at any company festivities. An impaired driving infraction following a company holiday party can really ruin those holly-jolly feelings.

Reason to Celebrate!

The holiday rush and end-of-year wrap-up at most companies is a good time to reflect on achievements. Your hard work (and OSHA compliance) may have resulted in a new workplace safety record, or perhaps your business has grown and many of your temporary hires will be offered permanent positions.

The holiday season can be safe without being dour. Celebrate your achievements and look forward to more in the New Year. If 2017 looks like a year of growth and possibly new staffing needs, contact us. With more than 25 years of experience, Allegiance Staffing is here to serve you.