Help Your Crew Overcome Safety Hazards This Holiday Season

Man in Santa Hat is Stressed Holding Too Many Presents

For many of us, December is a busy and social month. You may notice that some of your people seem anxious or depressed when they arrive at work after a weekend of holiday parties where they have too much to eat and drink. You are responsible for the safety of your crew when they’re at work. And even though you’re not accountable for them when they’re off the clock, you should understand that off-the-clock behavior can affect workplace attitudes, productivity, and safety.

Relevant topics to cover this December:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Shortcuts
  • Safety Data Sheets

Beware of What May Bring the “Holiday Blues”

Loneliness and social anxiety are common emotions felt during the holiday season. People without a good group of friends may feel worse about their circumstances during this season when every advertisement talks about gathering with friends and family. On the other hand, people who prefer to spend time with one or two friends may feel exhausted by the amount of socializing they may have to do over the holidays.

The holidays are stressful. Overspending on gifts and events—or controlling spending by not getting all the gifts—can cause anxiety. Spending time with relatives sometimes causes stress. And trying to find time for shopping and social events can be stressful.

What Behaviors Are Signs of Depression?

Watch for increased depression and anxiety among your crew members. During the holiday season, parties are often every weekend, and people are more likely to drink more than they usually do. Alcohol use can hurt those who suffer from depression or anxiety. While they might feel fine at the party, they may suffer a sort of emotional hangover in which their depression and anxiety feel worse than ever. This means they may show up for work in a bad mood, be more challenging to work with than usual or call off.

How to Help Someone Who is Struggling

So, one of your workers has the holiday blues. What are you supposed to do about it? You’re not a therapist, but you could be one of just a few people who notices that they’re struggling and actually does something about it. If you see that one of your people is extra grumpy, withdrawn, or more easily annoyed than usual, ask them if they’re okay. Sometimes, a little compassion is enough to help someone pull it together for the shift or even give them a reason not to commit suicide.

You can’t fix everyone’s problems, and no one suggests you try. Everyone has stress in their lives, and some are better able to cope with it than others. At the end of the day, your crew shows up to work to get the job done and earn a living. But being aware of mental health stressors can make you a more compassionate supervisor. When your people know you care, they’re more likely to go the extra mile for you. 

As always, SAFETY MEETING OUTLINES, INC. welcomes your questions, comments, and ideas. We are happy to help you access additional safety meetings in our Library or advise you on conducting a safety meeting. Feel free to contact us by phone at 815-464-0200 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time) or send an e-mail to

Manufacturing Construction Personnel