Post Content

shutterstock_605076548

Holiday decorations are a surefire way to boost a community’s holiday spirit. The bright colors and lights of the holiday decorations make the 4:00 p.m. sunset a little easier to handle.  When I’m decorating, my training kicks in and I think about safety as I pull out my step ladder.  What comes to my mind before I use the step ladder?  The ladder should be set on stable ground, it should only be used in the open position, and to never stand on the top or top step of the step ladder.  These tips are also helpful if your employer has asked you to decorate your workplace.

While out running around, whether it is to go shopping, commuting to or from work, or visiting friends and family, have you ever thought about how all of these holiday decorations got into place?  A lot of the decorations you see around town and in malls are hung in locations that the worker might not be able to reach, even if they were using the tallest ladder.  So how did those lights get all the way to the top of that large tree on the common?

installation-of-holiday-lightsThere is a good chance that those outdoor lights, signs and motifs around town were hung using an aerial lift.  Your first thought might be that aerial lifts might be safer to use than ladders, right?  But without the proper training first, the worker using these tools and equipment might very easily be injured and these injuries can be severe.  In addition, employers must also make sure that the appropriate safety equipment is provided to their employees.  Workers in the aerial lift should be wearing fall protection provided to them by the employer.

I’m sure we all want the people who are decorating the cities and towns where we live, work, and play in to be able to go home safely and enjoy the holidays with their families.  So as we celebrate the holidays this season and are enjoying the decorations, let’s keep these workers safe so they can do just that.  When driving, give workers along roadways the space they need. If your loved ones are using aerial lifts, remind them about wearing fall protection.  Oh and remember that in the New Year, these same workers will once again be on their precarious perches taking down the decorations.

Written By:


Occupational Fatality Projects Coordinator, Occupational Health Surveillance Program

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Elevating the Essential Workforce posted on Apr 11

Elevating the Essential Workforce

Written by Emily Sparer-Fine, Director of the Occupational Health and Surveillance Program Essential workers encompass a wide variety of occupations, many of which are familiar to us: health care workers, police, fire and other emergency personnel, transit workers and grocery workers, while other workers equally   …Continue Reading Elevating the Essential Workforce

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness posted on Apr 10

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Written by Nicole Schmitt of the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services To address the needs of individuals at high risk for overdose and other medical complications associated with substance use, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services awarded contracts to   …Continue Reading Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs posted on Apr 9

Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs

Written by Elaine Gabovitch of the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition Emergency care plans (ECPs) are important tools that families of children with special health needs can use to prepare for their children’s safety and wellbeing during COVID-19 and other health related emergencies. Having   …Continue Reading Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs