Instead of hiring someone, is it OK to have my employees put lights on our office building or at a job site?

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To make sure the “most wonderful time of the year” doesn’t become soured with injuries, you’ll want to make sure safety is your top priority when it comes to holiday decorations. Consider these precautions when making your office or job sites festive: If you want to install lights at an elevated height, use a contractor with the proper training and equipment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 5,822 falls requiring medical attention occur each year while installing holiday decorations (majority of these falls are from roofs and ladders).

  • Use flame-resistant decorations.
  • Inspect lights for damage before use, and ensure they are rated appropriately (indoor and outdoor).
  • If using candles, place the candles clear of combustibles and out of reach of children. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than one-third of home décor fires are started by candles.
  • Don’t place decorations in exit paths and ensure doors in exit paths are not impaired by decorations.
  • Special regulations apply to some occupancies related to Christmas trees and decorations, such as health care, business, educational and hotel occupancies. See NFPA standards for specific requirements.

For more holiday safety tips or safety help on your job site, reach out to me directly! You can also visit www.buildersassociation.com for more information.

Meet the Expert

Jesse Sheppeck is the Regional Manager for The Builders' Association, which is a nonprofit commercial construction trade association serving hundreds of member companies that employ over 25,000 people in mid-America. Founded in 1887, The Builders’ Association has advanced the construction industry by delivering safety, craft and management training; employment, labor and government relations; and construction plans and technology tools.

Four service and training centers operate in Kansas City, Jefferson City and Springfield to serve both union and nonunion member companies and to aid collaboration by connecting passionate people and businesses, with a vision of improving lives through construction.

This is accomplished in several ways, including:

  • 3,000+ safety trainees annually. 

  • Community outreach. 

  • 1,500+ apprentices in cosponsored programs. 

  • Delivery of business education and professional development. 

  • Negotiation of 27 collective bargaining agreements. 

  • Coadministration and trustee-appointment authority for 28 fringe funds with over $3 billion in assets. 

  • Government relations services at the local and state level, as well as federally through AGC Kansas City, a chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and the association’s sister organization.