Holiday Safety Tips: How to Keep Your Field Service Workers Safe

Author: Erica Grilli

As we get further into December many, if not most of us, are thinking about the holiday season. While the majority of people get to enjoy guaranteed vacation days this time of year, many Field Service (FS) workers don’t.

Overloaded circuit breakers from holiday lights, downed powerlines from ice, and burst pipes from freezing temperatures are all things that don’t disappear just because of the calendar date. Winter weather hazards and an increase in binge drinking around this time of year can make being out on the road a nightmare.

With this in mind, we’ve put together some holiday safety tips to keep your organization’s FS workers prepared while they navigate the roads this holiday season.

Road and Weather Safety

We covered general winter safety in our last blog, however, it’s doubly important to go over these issues again during the holiday season. As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, workers will understandably be thinking about the holidays, which means more distractions. Additionally, organizations will be dealing with a reduced workforce due to an increase in time off requests.

  • Review winter driving safety, including vehicle operation
    • Make it fun by scheduling a safety competition or safe driving course
    • Black ice is incredibly dangerous; advise extreme caution on areas that freeze first, such as bridges, ramps, and overpasses
  • Keep up to date with weather alerts
    • Ensure everyone on the job is aware of extreme weather warnings
    • Consider sending safety tips along with alerts, or having them available in all fleet vehicles
  • Vehicle maintenance needs consistently reviewed
    • Clear vehicles completely and double-check the wiper fluid levels
    • Check batteries and tire pressure, and keep vehicles well fueled
  • Make sure all vehicles have emergency kits
    • Include chargers in every fleet vehicle to keep phones topped up
    • Consider stocking them with bonus items, such as your workers’ favorite snacks for those working on a holiday

Party Season Hazards

An increase in impaired driving and accidents are a major concern for FS workers that need to be on the road. It’s also cold and flu season, meaning employees on the job need to be taking some extra care to combat germs. While employee health is always a concern, someone calling off sick can cause additional complications when there is already a decrease in available staff to cover shifts.

  • Get serious with visibility gear
    • Make sure it’s being supplied and used
    • Advise employees working on or near roads to apply extreme caution; create barriers whenever possible and have someone in charge of keeping the worksite safe
  • Make health a priority
    • Ensure employees are thoroughly and frequently washing their hands; supply hand sanitizer in breakrooms, fleet vehicles, and bathrooms
    • Emphasize the importance of taking a sick day if employees are coughing, sneezing, or seriously ill

Balancing Holiday FS Demands and Employee Needs

Having to work on a holiday and the holiday season, in general, can be difficult for some people.

  • Mental health support should always be a priority, but even more so at this time of year
  • Consider having more frequent employee check-ins and resources in place for anyone struggling.

It’s also important not to overlook the impact on your employees’ lives outside of the job. A little bit of understanding and the chance to get involved with holiday scheduling policies can go a long way.

Additionally, consider going the extra mile for employees to lower holiday stress by covering meal breaks or supplying coffee and snacks. Planning more time and opportunities for them to socialize and destress is an easy way to show them support.

Here at Diabsolut, we’re wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season. We’ll be bringing you an in-depth safety guide in 2020. Please reach out with anything you’d like to see reviewed, or for more information about FSM solutions and safety.