After being off for the holidays or any time of vacation, sometimes it’s hard to get back into the groove of working. This is a time where it’s easy to not be as mindful about safety as we usually are.
Workplace accidents tend to be higher after people come back from an extended break, whether it be the holidays or a vacation. As a result, we need to be extra mindful about a safety focus when we come back.
Here are some tips to help get back in a safety mindset:
- Review Job Safety/Job Hazard Analyses—What are the correct safety procedures and PPE required to do the job safely?
- Take a look around—is the jobsite safe? Have there been changes? Are there safeguards missing?
- Don’t take shortcuts
- As you go about your work, take extra time and effort throughout the days to stop and focus on safety hazards in front of you. Take a few seconds to look around and survey the area to see if there are hazards that can hurt you or co-workers.
- The first of the year is a good time to stop and do some safety reviews to easily jog memories and get back into the right mindset. This also will allow workers the opportunity to ease back into the routine.
- Start off the year by taking stock and inventory of tools and equipment. Do inspections to make sure they’re in good condition and functioning correctly.
- Do your eyewash stations and emergency decon stations work correctly?
- Do first aid kits need restocking?
- Does signage need to be replaced?
- Are labels intact and legible?
- Do fire extinguishers need recharging?
- How does housekeeping look? Do we need to clean up and clean out work areas?
- What are your safety goals for the year? What do we want them to be?
- Make sure you are getting good rest, nutrition, hydration and exercise. Sometimes the holidays can take a lot out of us and break our routine and this will help us get back to “normal.”
- Return to a normal home routine as well. If operations are normal at home, they’re more likely to become normal at work.
- Before you get to work, clear your head of lingering issues and put those away for after work.
- Look out for each other. Be mindful that others may be distracted and unfocused too.