3 Ways to Bring Work Safety Home this Halloween
When you think of Halloween, what is one colour that comes to mind? Orange. Orange is also tied to thoughts on safety. With 'Safety Orange' being an actual colour, and used on a variety of safety items, like reflective clothing, signage and pylons. But the colour orange isn't the only thing tying safety and Halloween together. We all know why we have workplace safety procedures in place, but is it ever something you consider for holidays like Halloween? Some Halloween statistics are scarier than the holiday itself.
- Children are twice as likely to die on Halloween than any other day of the year as they trick-or-treat along our streets. That's according to a 2012 State Farm analysis of more than 4 million fatalities between 1990 and 2010 Source
- Most of the fatalities occurred with children ages 12-15 (32% of all child fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23%) Source
- Young drivers ages 15-25 accounted for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween Source
So what can be done to keep the holiday safe? Below we outline 3 ways you can apply your workplace safety at home this holiday.
We all know one of the biggest things about Halloween night is the costumes, getting to dress up as a scary ghost or witch, or possibly even to look like a certain job uniform such as a firefighter or police officer. But, when it comes to work uniforms special thought is put into the comfort and safety of those wearing it. Uniforms have progressed over the years to include features such as reflective markings, extra padding for comfort and warmth, or helmets for protection. Although uniforms are worn day-in and day-out it is important to consider some of these safety features when sending your kids out on Halloween as well. Adding a reflective tape can help them be seen, especially to those in motor vehicles. Ensuring their costume won't pose a trip and fall hazard is also an important factor that may prevent injury.
At work we are aware of our surroundings, watching for things like forklifts and other equipment, tying ourselves off while working at heights, and watching for spills that can cause a slip and fall. This is an area of work safety we should apply to everyday of our lives but especially Halloween. "There [have been] on average four more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween between 5 p.m. at 11:59 p.m. compared to one week before and after the holiday." Source
With special training in place for work safety in regards to hazardous materials (WHMIS) employees are made aware of the hazards that surround them. Bringing your knowledge of hazardous materials home for Halloween can be beneficial as the use of toxic paints and aerosols increases. Costumes can also contain 'flame resistant' chemicals, "the Government of Canada has assessed various substances with flame retardant uses, such as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), including decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE). Although at current levels of exposure it was determined that these substances are not of concern for human health, the assessments did identify a risk to the environment and therefore the Government has prohibited the manufacture of all PBDEs in Canada and is proposing to take action on others based on those findings." Source Lastly, is the danger of button batteries, which is described in further detail in our article '4 Ways to Your Family's Safety This Fall'.
Halloween is meant to be fun, with the use of costumes and decorations allowing us to take a break from our everyday and share our creativity. Applying these work safety practices at home this holiday can leave the scares to the ghosts and the goblins.