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Holiday Hazards

Well my friends, it is Thanksgiving Week in the United States.   I would like to take a few moments to encourage you to recognize, evaluate, and control the holiday hazards.  To begin with, lets consider the obvious hazards:

  1. Driving to the relatives, friends, or a restaurant.  During the holidays people get in a hurry.  Hurry is a holiday hazard that can end the fun quickly.  Be sure you leave in plenty of time to follow the “rules of the road.”  Remember that getting to your destination and back is the number one goal.  If you are heading to a new location, be sure and take the time to plan your drive.  If you are driving in an area of severe weather, be sure to carry resources with you such as food, water, blankets, a flashlight, first aid kit, etc.  If you are stranded on the side of the road comfort is second to survival.  Be prepared.
  2. Flying the airlines?  Good luck!  Seriously though, prepare for the possibility of overnighting in an airport.  This is more mental preparation than anything else so that you keep your cool.  Really, it is one of the worse times to travel by air.  As a member of the million milers on the airlines I can tell you that the old saying, “Got time to spare?  Go by air!” is a reality.
  3. Food preparation and care.  If you are preparing a dish to take with you, follow the guidelines of washing your hands, knives, forks, spoons, cutting boards, and counter tops.  Cleanliness is the best way to keep germs from ruining a long weekend.  Be sure to put food away in the fridge ASAP.  When rewarming food, be sure to heat it up enough to be safe.

There are plenty of sites on the internet that can give you more information, but these are just a few things I wanted to share with you.

Stop and think… Don’t let holiday hazards ruin your Thanksgiving weekend


Now for a bit of history from the History Channel:


Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

Did You Know?

Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned for a national Thanksgiving holiday for close to 40 years, believing that “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase “We Give Thanks.”


Now for the religious part, and the rest of the story…

The first Thanksgiving was intended to “Give thanks to God.”  The God being thanked was the God of the Holy Bible for the Pilgrims.  The journey to Thanksgiving began first when Separatist (make a much deeper study of the Puritans and the Pilgrims to learn more) left England for Holland.  Later they left for America to settle in order to maintain their Christian values, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in America.

Interestingly enough, through a series of previous events in his life, an American Indian by the name of Squanto helped the Pilgrims.  Squanto is thought to have been the one to teach the settlers how to plant and care for corn (Maze) that got them through the first year (there is a lot more to the story worth reading).   At his death Squanto was believed to have accepted the Englishman’s religion of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  In tradition (which is very likely), the Pilgrims thanked God for Squanto, other Indians, and circumstances that allowed them to get through a very difficult year in their new homeland.

Thursday my family and friends will meet and thank the same God for his hand on our lives this past year.  We will thank God for the military men and women who have given their lives for the freedom we sometimes take for granted.  Also, we will thank God for friends and family, and even the difficulties that make us better people.  But most of all we will thank him for sending His Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may God Bless you, your friends and family, and America in the coming year!


Looking for safety training that will improve your organizations safety culture?  Consider Carl Potter’s Hazard Recognition and Control Workshop for 2015.  Carl Potter and Stan Robbins are ready to travel to your location to deliver this workshop so that your employees will begin to see and take action on hazards that can lead to injuries.  For more information about this workshop, send an email to:

2 Responses to Holiday Hazards

  • Rick Poleck says:

    Good morning, carl. Thanks for your safety emails and Much thanks for “the rest of the story” about Thanksgiving. Americans have lost much of that thankful spirit, replaced by Entitlement. Jesus christ gave us the greatest reason to give thanks over 2000 years ago and it is free for the asking.

    God bless you and yours.

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