New Braunfels, TX, November 22, 2023
Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving traces its origins to harvest festivals. It was customary to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest in the cultures of both the Pilgrims who sailed from England in 1620 and the Native Americans they encountered. Today, Thanksgiving allows us the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and reflect on all the many things that we are thankful for. In doing research for today’s topic, I ran across an article posted by weeklysafety.com that we would like to share with everyone. Within the article, it lumps the hazards associated with Thanksgiving into three primary categories – fire, food, and travel.
Thanksgiving is the number one day of the year for cooking fires, reports State Farm Insurance. The U.S. Fire Department confirms that more than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day and preparing deep fried turkeys, using a turkey fryer, is the cause of approximately 5 deaths, 50 injuries, and the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage every year. To help with this you should keep baking soda on hand to put out kitchen fires, don’t leave food cooking on the stove unsupervised, make sure the smoke alarms are working, make sure you have an ABC fire extinguisher close by, and do not leave candles burning unattended.
Incidents of choking and food poisoning increase during the holidays, especially around Thanksgiving, as people are preparing and consuming more food than usual. To avoid food related hazards, remember to always wash your hands, use separate cutting boards, make sure all meats are cooked to USDA recommendations, and store leftovers within 2 hours.
With Thanksgiving being one of the most travel-heavy times of the year, it is important to be prepared before hitting the road and to drive defensively, especially during bad weather. Drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. Driving at 55 mph, that is about the length of a football field. Let’s remember to buckle up every trip, make sure your vehicle is well maintained, plan your route ahead of time, carry an emergency kit in the vehicle, be aware of weather conditions, take caution in parking lots while out shopping, and most importantly – no texting while driving.
There is never a time when employees, parents or families can ‘take a break’ from safety. Workplace safety is often our focus because there may be bigger hazards present and we all want to get home safely to our families and loved ones at the end of the day, but safety at home is also important. Take a breather and remind yourself what the holidays are truly about and know that nothing is more important than having a safe holiday this year.
If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get you taken care of.