The Unified Solution

Home & Work Safety are “Mirrored”, Especially During the Holidays

This weekend, as I was musing about how fast 2018 has gone by already, it hit me: the Holidays are upon us again!  How did that get here so fast?  I couldn’t help but think about everything that needed to be planned, selected, prepped, completed / prepared, scheduled, budgeted for, communicated, etc.  Out comes the trusty checklist!

Where am I in my “schedule”?  Am I on track, am I behind or actually ahead of schedule?  It’s a LONG checklist.  So much to do:

Visiting family or staying home & having visitors?  Cooking at home or helping out in someone else’s preparations?  Decorating?  Making sure I already have presents for the family members & friends I don’t live near & have to mail things to (or sending gift cards)?  Do I have new nieces or nephews or in-laws to add to my list?  Did I order the turkey & get the giblets for the gravy yet?  Pie crusts for the pumpkin pies, cranberries & heavy cream for the homemade cranberry sauce & whipped topping?  Getting a tree?  Can’t get poinsettias this because the cat will eat them & they’re poisonous to cats (which is actually OK because we love the cat more than poinsettias).  And really, what DO you get for a 26-year old daughter that is so much more “techy” than you?  Oh, yes, cash.

And then, as is often the case with me since I’ve been a safety professional for so long, I started to think about the physical preparations I needed to do & that made me think about the safety requirements I’d need to ensure.  Especially now that I do most of the physical chores at home after my husband’s stroke.

And that LONG checklist for some reason made me think of a maintenance turnaround at a refinery.  EVERYTHING on my holiday preparations checklist had a MIRROR on a checklist for preparing for a successful & safe turnaround!

TURNAROUND:

  • Where are the Sulphur or Houston employees going to stay for the time they’re working the turnaround?  If it’s a large enough turnaround, many or most of the hotels will already be booked up, so we need to decide & book asap.
  • Do we have hotels close for the visiting employee’s, so they don’t have to drive 2-3 hours each way AFTER working a 12-hour turnaround shift?  Are they actually using that per diem for a hotel & food or are they keeping that money & STILL driving that long to & from the turnaround?  Fatigue is a dangerous factor during turnarounds!
  • Will our employees need to work at heights?  Will there be scaffolding or ladders there, ready & in good shape, constructed & inspected properly, with all of the guardrails, etc., in place?  Do they all have fall protection gear?  (that’s a checklist all by itself!)
  • Will there be work that requires extension cords to be used?  Inspect the cords for damage & make sure they’re long enough to avoid daisy-chaining.  Make sure if we’re doing PT around welding that we wait long enough for the welds to cool before spraying the PT spray because it’s flammable!

HOME:

  • Are we traveling to see family or bringing in family to visit us?  Staying home for Thanksgiving but traveling for Christmas.  CHECK
  • Where are the visiting relatives staying, our house or at a hotel.  Hotel rooms booked.  CHECK
  • Are we driving a long distance to get to the in-law’s house?  Alternate drivers and allow enough time to avoid rushing / speeding & perhaps book a hotel halfway there so we’re not driving tired or at night.  CHECK
  • Putting up Christmas lights outside?  Get the ladder ready & make sure it’s tall enough & I can tie it off or secure it somehow & it’s on level ground, so it doesn’t topple over with me on it.  CHECK
  • Decorating the tree & house?  Make sure not to have too many lights on the tree or string together extension cords to reach an available outlet, and don’t overload outlets with too much plugged into it.  Don’t want to start a fire!  CHECK
  • Will there be work that requires extension cords to be used?  Inspect the cords for damage & make sure they’re long enough to avoid daisy-chaining.  Make sure if we’re doing PT around welding that we wait long enough for the welds to cool before spraying the PT spray because it’s flammable!

Those are just a very small part of all of the mirrored home & work safety topics that came to mind!  And that’s why I chose this topic for my first blog; the timing just FIT.

Do you have any helpful tips or suggestions you’ve used in the past to keep you & your family safe during the holidays?  Any stories of safety Fails you’ve learned from (no gory details, please!)?  Send them to us & we’ll pass them along to

Tune in for our next blog for tips, suggestions, resources, etc., to help YOU make sure you and your family & friends stay safe during the holidays at work AND at home!


Recent Posts Read More