Workers can be at risk of many types of injuries or illnesses whilst they are at work, so it’s important to be aware of the dangers in your workplace and take the appropriate steps to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring in the first place. While the hazards on the below list won’t necessarily appeal to every business, these are some of the most common hazards that can cause real injury to people.
Slips and falls
One of the most common workplace hazards is slips and falls. Wet surfaces, uneven ground, and debris can easily cause someone to lose their balance and fall. Injuries from slips and falls can range from bruises and cuts to broken bones and even death. Employers should take steps to minimize these risks by ensuring that floors are clean and dry, providing proper footwear, and warning employees of potential hazards.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there may come a time when an accident does occur. This could happen to an employee on the floor, or a visitor as they are walking to your premises from the car park.
Should this occur, individuals have the right to contact someone like this premises liability attorney in St Louis MO in order to seek the compensation they need in order to cover any medical costs associated with their injury, and you should take this opportunity to improve your health and safety procedures.
Any live electrical wires can cause injury to those who touch it directly, or even indirectly through an object or material that conducts electricity. Anything over 50 volts AC should be taken very seriously within the workplace, as it is considered to be a hazard. Electrical injuries can include shocks, arc flashes, and burns. Unfortunately, some of these can cause severe, life-lasting injuries and, in the very worst cases, electrical injuries can be fatal.
Employees should be aware of the dangers of electricity and take precautions to stay safe. These precautions could include making sure all electrical installations are well-maintained, wearing the correct clothing and footwear – there is even specialist clothing out there specifically designed for wearing around electricity – and making sure that any damaged section of cable is replaced immediately.
Chemical hazards in the workplace can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the type of chemical and the level of exposure that workers face. Some common chemical hazards in the workplace include:
• Toxic gases
• Flammable materials
• Explosive materials
If you are exposed to any of these chemicals, you could experience health problems such as skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even death. It is important to be aware of the chemical hazards in your workplace and take steps to protect yourself from exposure, such as learning how to handle chemicals safely, making sure to wash your hands after you have finished working with chemicals and knowing that if you don’t know how to use something correctly, you should not use it.
This is one that people might not think of straight away, however, if the combination of the sort of work you do and your body position put a strain on your body, then this counts as an ergonomic hazard, and is not something that should be ignored. As a business owner, making sure to take ergonomics into consideration in the workplace will improve efficiency, reduce the risk of short-term pain and fatigue in employees, and increase overall job satisfaction.
One of the major workplace hazards is Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI. This injury can be caused by doing the same action over and over again, and it can lead to pain, inflammation, and other problems in the hands, wrists, or arms.
Some common symptoms of RSI include tingling or numbness in the fingers, a burning sensation, weakness, and swelling. To help prevent RSI, workers should take breaks regularly, stretch their muscles often, and use ergonomic equipment whenever possible.
Physical hazards make up some of the most common hazards that can be seen when walking around in the workplace and yet are often the first types of hazards that are forgotten about because there won’t necessarily be information displayed around the workplace about them. Physical hazards include, but are not limited to, exposed moving parts of equipment, working from heights (including on ladders and scaffolding), machinery left running by itself and frayed electrical cords.
One of the most important things when it comes to preventing physical hazards causing injury is simply noticing them and making note of them in your head so that you can keep an eye on them. Making sure that you are only doing what you are supposed to be doing, and nothing irresponsible, also contributes to ensuring physical safety at all times. Finally, business owners have a responsibility to ensure that all employees know how to operate, work with, and look after the equipment they work with correctly.
Workplace hazards come in many different shapes and sizes, and everyone in a workplace is responsible for playing their part to ensure that the working environment is safe for all. It’s important to be aware of these hazards and take steps to prevent accidents from happening. Employees should always follow safety protocols and report any unsafe conditions to their supervisor so that they can be dealt with promptly in order to keep everyone safe.