Staying safety during the holiday season (toolbox talk)

The holidays can bring a lot of chaos to the workplace. Not only is it peak season for many retailers, but it’s also the time of year when many workers take time off to spend with their loved ones. This holiday safety toolbox talk offers some helpful reminders for employees during the unique circumstances of the holidays.

Holiday safety toolbox talk overview

In this toolbox talk, we’ll go over:

  • How the holidays can negatively impact performance
  • How to keep your work area safe
  • Ways to decrease distractions

The key to all of this is not letting the holidays affect your day-to-day at work. By planning your schedule in advance, minimizing distractions, and practicing the same safety behaviors you always do, it can be a stress-free and safe season for everyone.

Impact of the holidays on performance

The holidays can affect workplace performance by causing distractions that decrease productivity and increase safety risks. Also, because so many of us take time off during the holidays, it can impact staffing and cause issues without proper planning.

Not only does this affect the flow of the operation, but it sometimes affects quality. More distractions mean more opportunities to make critical mistakes during routine processes. That’s why it’s so important to be even more self-aware during the holidays.

Maintaining a safe workspace

It’s okay to be festive during the holidays, but we need to make sure we’re not creating extra safety risks in the process. As a general rule, don’t bring anything into the workplace that interferes with safety. This includes decorations, clothing, food, and any other holiday items that might create or increase risks.

Good examples of items NOT to bring to work include:

  • Candles
  • Holiday lights
  • Decorations with long cords
  • Foods that contain allergens

If you’re not sure if you should bring it to work, then you probably shouldn’t.

Decreasing distractions

Distractions are all over the place during the holidays. But we can’t let the celebrations keep us from doing our jobs safely and effectively. Here are some tips for decreasing distractions for yourselves and others:

  • Do gift exchanges offsite or in designated social areas around the facility.
  • Listen to music with headphones on (if at all).
  • Submit time off requests as soon as you can for better operational planning.
  • Limit holiday decorations to your own personal areas.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that might cause distractions.

The best practice is to not let your holiday celebrations cause distractions for other members of the team. Remember, not everyone celebrates the same traditions, so we need to be respectful of others and maintain a professional work environment despite the excitement of the season.