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This Year, Take Home Culture of Safety for the Holidays

culture of safety at holidaysKYLE MEINERT
HNI Risk Advisor

Nothing screams "I'm ready for holiday cheer" like those bright, multi-colored lights you see strung across everyone’s house.

But seeing those twinkling decorations gets my safety-obsessed brain thinking. "How did they get those up there?" I ask myself.

Confessions of 'the Safety Guy'

I'm going to be real with you guys for a minute.

My colleagues here at HNI think of me as "the safety guy." And I like that designation, and I try to earn that title every day.

But while I was putting up my own holiday lights, I couldn’t help but say to myself in a panicked voice, “This isn’t safe, but the holiday show must go on!”

(For the record, I did string up my lights before Halloween. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to be outside in the cold. In reality, though, my excitement for the holidays is off the charts!)

Too Many Injuries in the Name of the Holidays

When it comes to making questionable safety decisions while putting up decorations, I know I’m not alone. This time of the year, lots of people throw common safety sense out the window to make room on that window for a $8.99 set of lights.

Statistics prove the culture of safety is left behind this time of year. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were about 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating treated in ERs nationwide during November and December 2012. As you can imagine, the majority of incidents involved falls.

I don't want to kill your pre-holiday buzz, but imagine if something worse were to happen, and this were your last holiday season because you took a foolish risk. Think of the pain your loved ones would feel every year going forward.

We all want to spend the holidays with family and friends — and not with doctors and nurses in a hospital (or worse).

Bring Home Your Work  Your Work Culture of Safety

It’s early in the season, but it's never too early to urge everyone to think twice before climbing a rickety ladder, scaling a snow-covered roof, or any other risky act that you never would consider doing at work.

Now is a great time to take home your work culture of safety! Slow down and think through the worst-case scenario before it has a chance to happen. You have every opportunity to plan for and mitigate a crisis. Even better yet is isolating it and controlling it! It's in your hands!

After all, it's "fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaahhh" not "FALL-all-all-alllll!"

How do you share your work culture of safety at home? Please share in comments!

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Photo by kev-shine via Flickr

Topics: Construction Transportation Safety / Compliance Manufacturing