Did you Know that Workplace Injuries Tend to Increase Around the Holidays?

By Otoos Team & Linda F. Martin, PhD, MBA, PMP, CIH, CSP, MSP, CHMM is a the Principal of KLME Martin Associates LLC, a global occupational health and safety, risk management, and industrial hygiene consulting firm specializing in construction industry safety and risk.

Linda F. Martin

The studies have shown that work injury or injuries are much more common among new employees. Interestingly, another reason is that some employers ask workers to increase their workday and work more hours to meet holiday demand. Finally, the holiday season creates a busy and stressful work environment.

The holidays are here, and while many workers from various industries are thinking about some well-deserved time off, there will still be those that work right through the season – many of them construction workers.

If you are in the construction industry as a general contractor, subcontractor, owner, or trades organization, it is important to prioritize your workers’ health and well-being and try to minimize stress and foster good cheer during this time.

Here are a few tips for ways that you can help turn stress into cheer

  • Minimize overtime when at all possible. Workers are looking forward to spending time with their families from near and far and often overtime cuts into the precious time to plan for and participate in relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Set realistic productivity expectations or re-evaluate project timelines during times when employees have planned celebrations and other holiday-related functions on their minds and calendars.
  • Encouraging regular breaks, noticing warning signs of fatigue, and making sure that employees are “fit to work” and are not experiencing undue stress due to the combination of work and their personal holiday commitments.
  • Set boundaries. It’s common for workers and their supervisors to want to work extra hours or get “one more thing” done before they finish a Supervisors and employers should encourage workers to go home, spend time with their families, and get some rest.
  • Watch for warning signs of workers that might be struggling due to holiday stressors such as broken and divided families, being alone during times where others are celebrating, and under pressure to provide for holiday expenses, both planned and unplanned.

Keeping your construction crew’s physical and mental health and safety in mind during heightened times of stress such as the holiday season can demonstrate that they are valued and appreciated.

A caring environment produces loyal employees who are more productive, motivated, and happier and there is no better time of year to let your workers know how much you appreciate them than this holiday season.