Worker Safety During the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Worker safety is particularly important at this time of year as stresses, busy workplaces and seasonal distractions can contribute to greater on-the-job risks.

The holiday season – known as the “most wonderful time of the year,” according to Christmas carols – can be dangerous and stressful for many workers. Whether they are warehouse workers, delivery drivers, seasonal workers, retail workers or others, the holiday season brings with it a number of risks – from ergonomics to winter driving to customer temper tantrums to workplace stress.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a web page to address Workplace Holiday Safety. As noted by the agency on that page: “As the nation enters the holiday shopping season, employers must ensure that all workers are trained to recognize and prevent job hazards and implement safe work practices. OSHA has resources to help keep workers safe at every step, whether you’re working at a retail store or delivering gifts from the warehouse to homes.”

The page offers guidance for protecting workers in order fulfillment, deliver, retail sales and seasonal jobs. For example, for order fulfillment workers, OSHA links to a page targeted at warehouse workers that includes workplace safety information about

The Delivery section links to safety information for the trucking industry, as well as safe driving information and tips for driving in hazardous weather. The section for Retail Sales links to information about crowd control and workplace violence in late-night retail locations. The final section links to information for all workers, including seasonal and younger workers, who might not have the advantage of comprehensive safety training.

As noted by Jim Frederick,  deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health in his 2021 blog, Keeping Workers Safe this Holiday Season, “All employers should take steps to control and prevent coronavirus spread, including those bringing on additional workers for the holidays.”

Retail, warehouse and delivery workers are not the only ones who could experience increased workplace hazards during the holiday season. In general, the holidays – while fun – introduce a new set of workplace hazards. In the blog, “7 Holiday Safety Concerns in the Workplace,” SafeStart, which specializes in human factors management, lists fatigue; rushing and frustration; ladder safety; electrical safety; slips, trips and falls; food safety; drunk and drowsy driving; and winter hazards.

The blog explains: “It’s important to consider that safety doesn’t only apply to the workplace. If training and culture are strong in an organization, safety becomes a state of mind and not an item on a to-do list. So, when the winter holidays get nearer, it’s time to take some additional training out of storage and remind workers that safety doesn’t take a vacation just because they do. After all, holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, and everyone wants to make it through the season incident-free.”

This entry was posted in Health & Safety Management and tagged by Sandy Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Director of Global Content and Brand for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has been the keynote speaker for occupational safety and health conferences.

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