When planning seasonal events and decorations for the office, it's important to keep workplace holiday safety in mind. Decorating your office can be a fun way to help coworkers enjoy the spirit of the holiday season together, as long as proper safety precautions are observed at all times.
Tips for Workplace Holiday Safety
When deciding how to decorate your office for the holiday season, it's important to be mindful of potential safety hazards. The same safety considerations that apply to seasonal home decorations at home also apply in the workplace.
Fire Safety Considerations for Holiday Decor
Be mindful of potential fire hazards when selecting holiday decorations and determining where to place them. Make wise choices about the types of holiday lights you use. Do not use any type of decoration in your office that has an open flame. If your Christmas tree is metallic, do not place any types of lights on it at all.
It's also important to make sure that you use holiday lights properly. Never place staples or nails through strings of lights, power cords, or extension cords. Do not connect too many strands of lights together. If you decorate the outside of your office, verify that any lights you use are rated for exterior use.
Make sure that all illuminated items are turned off when the office is closed so there's no risk of a fire breaking out when the building is unattended. It's a good idea to put one person in charge of this task, so there's no confusion regarding whether or not the lights need to be checked at the end of each workday.
Before starting the process of decorating your office for the holidays, it's a good idea to verify that all of your fire safety equipment is in proper working order. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working, and verify that the fire extinguishers are fully charged and easily accessible. It's a good idea to get into the habit of doing this several times each year, and it makes sense to use the occasion of decorating for the holidays as a reminder to check out your fire safety equipment.
OSHA Compliance and Holiday Decorations
Keep all relevant OSHA regulations in mind when deciding how to decorate your workplace for the holiday. Without proper planning, holiday decorations can result in dangerous tripping hazards. Think carefully before using extension cords to connect lights or to illuminate other types of decorations. Avoid placing Christmas trees, gifts, or freestanding decorations in heavily trafficked areas where people might run into them or trip over them.
It's also essential to make sure that your holiday décor in no way compromises the ability of workers and visitors to exit the workplace in the event of an emergency. Do not place any type of decorative items in exit corridors or on the sprinklers. It's essential to verify that none of your decorations block exit signage or fire safety equipment.
Holiday Celebration Safety Considerations
If you'll be holding an office holiday party where alcohol will be served it's essential to make transportation arrangements for guests who should not drive. This is true whether the party is held at your place of business, in someone's home, at a restaurant, or at any other location. This is essential to keep coworkers and other guests protected from drinking and driving, and to mitigate potential legal liability to the employer.
Keep Your Workplace Safe During the Holidays
By following a few simple safety tips, it's easy to enjoy festive holiday decorations and events at work without having to deal with injuries or damage to property. When preparing to enjoy the holiday season at work, simply incorporate proper workplace holiday safety precautions into the planning process. You'll be on your way to a holiday season that will be remembered as one that is both enjoyable and safe.