Celebrated on the first Monday in September, many countries observe Labor Day, which is a tribute to the hard work, contributions, and achievements of its citizens and workers.
Labor Day is also a symbol of the end of the summer, a pathway to Autumn, and the beginning of the academic school year for students from kindergarten through grad school.
Many people celebrate this holiday by hosting barbecues, planning trips to the beach, or simply spending an extra day relaxing at home from the summer rush.
While Labor Day is a time of celebration, it is also a time when many people are out on the road and in public, and increased dangers may arise.
Here are 5 important Labor Day safety tips that you should follow to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe while celebrating this joyous holiday:
1. Defensive Driving
Labor Day weekend sees many people on the roads whether they are traveling on vacation or simply leaving the city for a day trip. Regardless of the reason, there will be many more people on the roads this weekend in cars and vehicles, with high volume and more congestion. Naturally this leads to more accidents and longer travel times. Many people also drink during this celebration, so you must be aware of dangerous drivers.
The best safety practice is defensive driving. This means being proactive on the road, constantly monitoring your surroundings and the cars around you, and anticipating potential hazards, collisions, and accidents.
Always keep a safe distance from the car in front of you, obey traffic laws, and stay focused on the road to prevent distractions.
2. Increased Awareness In Public
As many people attend public spaces like parks, beaches, and events, Labor Day weekend sees an uptick in petty crime like pickpocketing and theft.
Always practice situational awareness and be constantly observing and analyzing your environment to ensure that any potential dangers are identified and reacted to properly.
Additionally, there is also an uptick in the amount of people drinking, which can lead to increased irritability and violence, so you must be aware of signs that someone is intoxicated and hostile such as slurred speech, stumbling, glassy eyes, and a disheveled appearance.
3. Food and Barbecue Precautions
Food and barbecue are synonymous with Labor Day celebrations. Here are some basic tips for making sure you are safe with your food and barbecue equipment:
- Properly handle barbecue and propane equipment to prevent accidents and injuries.
- Keep children and pets away from the grills.
- Use long-handled tools to avoid skin burns.
- Dispose of coals properly in designated metal containers to avoid fires.
- Ensure food is properly stored and handled to reduce foodborne illnesses. Since it is still very hot on Labor Day weekend, food spoils faster from bacteria and germs. Use icepacks and coolers to keep meats cold and fresh.
- Clean surfaces before and after preparation to reduce cross contamination.
4. Water and Ocean Precautions
Labor Day weekend draws large crowds of people heading to the beaches, pools, lakes or indoor water parks. With large crowds in bodies of water, there is always the risk of drowning from overcrowding even if you are a seasoned swimmer.
At beaches and in oceans, be aware of strong rip currents and the undertow. If you are unsure of the water condition, read the beach signs, look for swimming flags, or ask the lifeguard if it's safe to swim. Make sure to stay hydrated since a long day in the blazing sun can deplete you of the energy you need to swim in from the ocean.
If you are at pools or water parks, make sure to always use a life jacket or flotation device. Stay in eyesight of the lifeguard and don't go too deep if you don't know how to swim.
5. Plan Ahead for Solo Travelers
Experiencing things as a solo traveler is one of the best ways to live life. If you are planning to go solo on vacation or just to the beach, always communicate your plans to someone you trust. Avoid isolated areas, make sure to not be out when the sun sets, and carry self defense weapons like Kubatons, safety alarms, or cat knuckles.
Always trust your instincts. If something or someone doesn't feel right, don't hesitate to walk away or call for help.
Labor Day: Preparation Prevents Accidents
While Labor Day is a weekend of fun, celebration and seeing friends and family, always make sure to be prepared in advance.
This could mean knowing the subway schedule, traveling with friends, or being prepared with a self-defense product.
While preparation cannot eliminate accidents from occurring, it will give you a higher chance to avoid them or be ready for them if they do occur.
Stay safe, eat well, and enjoy the holiday weekend!