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Along with the joys, hustle, and bustle of the holidays can come an increased risk to your health and safety. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe and sound as you enjoy the festivities of the holiday season.
Limit how much alcohol you drink. A good tip is to alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and space your alcoholic drinks at least an hour apart. And remember to have something to eat when drinking alcohol.
How well you take care of yourself will have a big impact on how you manage emotionally. Aim to get plenty of sleep, take time for yourself and enjoy regular physical activity. If you need help with holiday gatherings, for meal preparation or clean up, reach out to family and friends. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays in a healthy way.
Fire hazards are plentiful during the holidays: the dry evergreen tree, candles and electric lights you use to decorate or set the holiday mood, or the cozy fire blazing in the fireplace.
Candles and fireplaces
Never leave cooking food or burning candles, fires, or cigarettes unattended. Put candles in non-tipping candle holders and keep them well away from anything that could catch fire, such as curtains or the Christmas tree, and out of reach of children and pets. This advice also applies to space heaters. Always use a secure screen in front of your wood burning fireplace to contain embers and sparks. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home and test them monthly. Keep a working fire extinguisher handy.
Use lights and extension cords that are in good condition (no frayed wires, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets/plugs, excessive kinking or wear). Turn off decorative lights when you leave work and, at home, turn them off when you are asleep or away. Don't overload electrical outlets.
Prevent the evergreen tree from drying out and becoming a hazard. Keep the stand filled with water. Turn off the tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house to prevent the lights from shorting out and starting a fire. When setting up a tree at home or at work, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters, and be careful not to block doorways.
Over the holidays you may find yourself behind the wheel, covering more ground than usual. Bitter cold, snow, slippery roads, and unpredictable weather conditions are just a few elements of a Canadian winter that can make driving conditions risky. If you really must drive when weather conditions are nasty, prepare yourself for any emergency that you may run into. Keep a winter driving emergency kit in your vehicle that contains the following:
Shovelling snow can be hard work and whether you shovel at work or at home, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the hazards of the task: cold exposure; fatigue; muscle strains; back injury and even a heart attack.
We wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
This month's feature podcast is Don't Rush into Winter Driving. Also, listen to an encore podcast of Preventing Holiday Stress and Anxiety.
Feature Podcast: Don't Rush into Winter Driving
Harsh winter conditions can appear out of nowhere. When they do, many drivers may get caught off-guard. No matter how many winters you've driven through, it's always a good idea to take some time to prepare before heading out into the elements, keeping in mind some safe driving advice.
The podcast runs 3:41 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
Encore Podcast: Preventing Holiday Stress and Anxiety
The holidays can be a special time of year but for some, the endless "to do" list can be overwhelming. CCOHS shares ways to prevent holiday stress and anxiety this season.
The podcast runs 5:56 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips, and insights into the health, safety, and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segment to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience... or on the go!
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The Health and Safety Report, a free monthly newsletter produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), provides information, advice, and resources that help support a safe and healthy work environment and the total well being of workers.
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