Benefits and Compensation

Safety and Health Don’t Take a Vacation! More Holiday Wellness Tips

Yesterday’s Advisor provided some holiday wellness tips to keep your employees happy, healthy, and safe during the chaotic weeks of the holiday season. Today, we share a few more tips for our readers.

Keep in Mind

Morgan Bliss is an industrial hygienist, safety consultant, and adjunct professor of safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. Bliss, who blogs on safety and health, reminds employers that many workers simply do not want to be at work this time of year. They’d rather be wrapping gifts, preparing holiday treats, or spending time with family.

As a result, workers are moving quickly through their job duties so they can get done and go home. Bliss warns, “They will have divided attention at work, and they may be fatigued, stressed, and zoned out.” And later in December when school lets out, parents of children old enough to stay by themselves will be worrying about what their kids are doing while they’re at work.

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Keep It Relevant

In order to cut through this mental and emotional clutter, make sure employees are hearing and heeding instructions and safety warnings. One way to do that is to ask personnel to repeat back what a supervisor has said. Bliss suggests erring on the side of over-communicating to compensate for those workers who have “turned off their safety brain” during the holidays.

Another way to reach distracted workers is to present safety messages that address both work and home safety. If you’re conducting a toolbox talk on ladder safety, for example, add in some holiday examples, like safely using a ladder to put up a Christmas tree or to reach the attic to get decorations.

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Just Say ‘No’ for Better Holiday Health

It’s common during the busy holiday season to take on more than we can reasonably handle. Too many people to shop for. Too many social commitments. Too many innutritious treats.

Establishing boundaries and saying no more often can help keep you on an even keel, according to Lisa Druxman of the fitness organization Stroller Strides.

Here are a couple of suggestions for staying healthy this holiday season.

  • Say no to extra food. Everyone’s offering goodies during the holidays—at work, in stores, and in supermarkets. Calories from that cookie or small cup of spiced cider can add up to significant weight gain by New Year’s. Just say no to the extras.
  • Say no to too much baking. Do you make baked goods for gifts? Baking is great, but it’s time consuming and often leads to eating more than you wish. Consider nonfood gifts, or prepare ingredients for baked treats and put them in attractive jars to make it easy for the recipient to make.
  • Say no to alcohol. Alcohol flows during the holidays, and overindulging is problematic on many levels. Discover some nonalcoholic drinks that you love and feel comfortable asking for. One go-to for many is a glass of bubbly water with a nice squeeze of lime. It’s refreshing, noncaloric, and festive.

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