During the holiday season, we often find ourselves in a rush and operating outside of our normal routines. That’s why an increased focus on safety is crucial.
At UCOR, part of our award-winning safety culture is encouraging our workers to take the safety practices they use at work into their home lives. Situational awareness, inspecting tools, and self-care are key themes for us throughout the year, and especially during the holidays as people put up indoor and outdoor decorations, shop during longer hours of darkness, and travel to see friends and family.
Here are specific things we share with our workforce that can help everyone stay safe during the holiday season:
• Electrical circuits: Make sure you do not overload electrical circuits with Christmas decorations.
• Ladders: Use the proper ladder to install Christmas lights and have someone hold the ladder while you are on it.
• Lights: If you haven’t used your Christmas lights (indoor and outdoor) since last season, be sure to inspect them before installing.
In your car
• Holiday travel: Inspect your vehicle (tires, wipers, etc.) before you take a trip. Make sure you have emergency supplies (blankets, water, food bars, etc.) in case you get stuck in severe weather.
• Shopping: Keep a high level of situational awareness when you are shopping. Park as close as possible to the buildings and lights.
• Sober driving: Some holiday parties involve alcohol. If you plan to consume, plan accordingly to ensure safe travel home.
In your home
• Children: Protect any children who might be around from hot surfaces like stoves and fireplaces and from sharp items like kitchen knives.
• Fire extinguisher: Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher in the home and that it is in working condition.
• Fireplace: If you only use your fireplace around the holidays, be sure it is in proper working order before use. Plus, Santa will need a clear path for entry!
• Smoke detector: Check your smoke detector to be sure it is functioning properly and has batteries.
• Lifting: People tend to carry many heavy items during the holidays. Be aware of your personal lifting limits. Use mechanical means or have someone help you if necessary.
• Overwhelm: Holidays can be stressful with the bustling pace and expectations. Build in time to decompress in case you start feeling overwhelmed.
• Seasonal sadness: If the holidays make you sad, you are not alone. Ask for help. Talk to a friend or family member, a colleague or neighbor, or access a local mental health hotline.
United Cleanup Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) is the DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management’s lead environmental cleanup partner. The company is removing unused, contaminated facilities at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex, while continuing remedial actions at the East Tennessee Technology Park. UCOR is a partnership between Amentum, Jacobs, and Honeywell. The company’s more than 2,100 workers are dedicated to safely reducing environmental risk on the Oak Ridge Reservation while helping DOE’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration continue their missions. Learn more about the company at UCOR.com.