Employers have a responsibility to employees to provide a workplace that is safe. This is true whether the work takes place in a warehouse, construction site or office setting. This also applies to seasonal workers who are hired to help with the extra work and coverage that is needed during the holiday season. The safety standard presented to these individuals should be the same that is provided to regular employees. As fire-related accidents are a problem in workplaces around the holidays it is important that an employer does what it can to protect all workers by reducing the risk of fire at workplace.
There are multiple ways that this can be accomplished including keeping decorations that are flammable away from heat sources. If trees are brought in they should be watered adequately and sprayed with a fire retardant. Outlets should not be overloaded and when people are not there, electrical decorations should be unplugged. All exits should be accessible and fire sprinklers should not be blocked in any way.
Taking these precautions could go a long way toward keeping workplaces safe this time of year since the U.S. Fire Administration reports that during the holiday season 1,650 individuals are injured in fire-related incidents. In addition, more than 400 people are killed.
The best approach for employers to take to accomplish the goal of keeping workers safe–whether it be from fire, or other risks–is to take safety training seriously. To that end the safety policy should be clear and concise. In addition, training should begin on the very first day. Workers should be aware that they can discuss concerns with their supervisors at any time.
Source: Insurance Journal, "'Tis the Season for Workplace Safety," Woody Hill, Nov. 7, 2014