Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I get to surround myself with loved ones, laugh and reminisce, and (like many of you), indulge a little much at the table. The sounds of laughter, football on the TV, and the bustle of the kitchen envelop me. The grandkids running through the house fills my heart like nothing else. Not that they know it now, but they are making memories they will carry for a lifetime. I can disconnect from the world for this one day and immerse myself in my family.
I love everything about this day.
Unfortunately, all this kitchen activity contributes to one of the busiest days of the year for your local hospital emergency room. Kitchen fires, burns, lacerations, and food poisoning are all common ailments on this holiday. Motor vehicle accidents also peak over this heavily-traveled holiday weekend.
So, from our house to yours, we leave you with a few tips from the experts:
- Check out this LET’S TALK TURKEY infographic published by the USDA for safe food handling and preparation tips. Avoid food poisoning by properly thawing and safely handling your turkey (the feathered kind). Take care to store leftovers promptly to avoid spoilage. An ounce of prevention goes a long way in making your Thanksgiving holiday memorable for all the right reasons.
- Be careful in the kitchen. Make sure you turn pot handles inward to avoid accidental spills and scald burns. Test your potholders or oven mitts to make sure they are in good condition. Silicone potholders offer a better layer of protection than cloth alone. Avoid using dishtowels as potholders, as the ends may drape downward into an open flame or hot burner.
- Do you have a portable fire extinguisher? If not, this is the time to get one. Every kitchen should have a small ABC extinguisher handy. Never leave the kitchen unattended. If you detect smoke or flame,
- Immediately turn off the burner
- Cover the pot with a metal lid
- Throw baking SODA or salt on the fire
- As a last resort, use a Class B fire extinguisher
- NEVER try to put out a grease fire with water!!!
Obviously, if the fire spreads rapidly, you should evacuate and dial 911.
- If you are putting up a Christmas tree or lights over the holiday weekend, be careful on ladders. Fall injuries are another common emergency room visit over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
- If you are traveling by vehicle:
- Please do not drink and drive; designate a sober chauffeur.
- Be alert. If you are driving long distance, take breaks or alternate drivers.
- Be aware of changing weather conditions.
- Stay off your phone or use hands-free devices.
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car.
- Don’t announce your travel plans on social media.
- Let a neighbor know that you will be away from your home.
- If you will be gone an extended period of time, have someone come in and out of your home occasionally to maintain a presence.
- Set lights on a timer so your home will not appear vacant to passersby.
Safety never takes a holiday. Be prepared, be safe, and have a wonderful, grateful Thanksgiving!
Does your company have formal safety policies in place? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.