Truthfully, safety hazards exist in every workplace. Some employees experience mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and hypertension, whereas others work under extreme conditions that affect their physical health.
For instance, construction firms expose their staff to scorching heat, heights, and polluting chemicals, posing substantial safety risks. Similarly, healthcare workers have to work around the clock under extreme pressure to save lives. Not only this, but your climate-controlled offices aren’t safe either. There have been thousands of injuries due to slips and trips in offices. Besides this, other office hazards also include poor workstation ergonomics, sprains, noise, electrical hazards, etc.
No matter how large or small your organizational setup, it’s imperative to identify the hazards to create a safe working environment. You can begin by conducting a thorough safety hazard assessment of all equipment and offices. Upon identifying the risks, implement protocols to mitigate them. If you seek to unearth more about this, keep reading. Here we have highlighted five factors that can significantly harm workers’ health in every field and sector.
1. Chemical Hazards
In factories, workers get exposed to chemicals in different forms. While some chemicals might be safer, they can cause skin irritation and breathing problems. It might seem temporary, but chemicals internally damage the organs, turning them into chronic illnesses. In extreme cases, exposure to chemicals like asbestos can lead to mesothelioma cancer.
Unfortunately, it’s not only chemical manufacturers that expose their workers to asbestos but also other employers like the navy. Therefore, if your workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals, ensure you offer reliable health insurance. Besides offering coverage for general diseases, you must offer mesothelioma VA benefits so they can get monthly financial payouts. However, look at other risk areas if your employees are not in direct contact with chemicals. Liquids like cleaning products, paints, vapors, and fumes can also be hazardous.
2. Ergonomic Hazards
Many employers try their best to create a safe working space for their employees but unfortunately, they forget about the ergonomic hazards. These hazards occur when working conditions put a strain on your body. Simply put, uncomfortable working conditions that lead to sore muscles, sprains, and headaches come under ergonomic hazards. It might seem ordinary initially, but these problems can take the shape of life-long injuries.
So, to prevent this, employers must create adjusted workstations with comfortable chairs and sufficient leg space. Likewise, they must ensure employees don’t have to force or lift heavy materials during working hours. Lastly, they must cancel noise pollution, so the staff can work peacefully while ensuring optimal efficiency levels.
3. Electrical Safety
According to the stats, 150 workers died from electrocution in 2018. And the same year, more than 1,560 employees suffered electrical injuries. These stats reflect how electrical hazards threaten workers in every industry. Therefore, as an employer, you must be aware of and mitigate these hazards beforehand. If any overhead power lines carry deadly voltages of electric power, restrict that area.
Moreover, seek immediate repair for the broken cords and wires of the tools and equipment. It can prove extremely dangerous for the people using them daily. Lastly, get rid of all the improper wiring. Electrical cords require specific wiring, and using the wrong ones can lead to overheating. In worst cases, it can also overload the outlets, resulting in short circuits. If you need guidance, follow the OSHA regulations and establish electrical safety programs.
4. Natural Disasters
Even though one can’t control these, they can turn out extremely dangerous for everyone. Earthquakes and thunderstorms can weaken the office’s foundation, leading to internal damage, especially if the infrastructure is unstable. In addition, they can trap lane workers in confined spaces.
It might be challenging for employers to predict these hazards, but that does not liberate an employer from the responsibility of ensuring workers’ safety. During a natural disaster, workers should have devices to communicate their location and status. After all, technology is at the stage where we can track and monitor workers with a few clicks. Besides this, you can install CCTV cameras at all locations to foresee the safety and location of lone workers.
5. Poor Air Quality
Believe it or not, air quality affects employees’ comfort and health. Workplaces with poor indoor quality have been reported to have more cases of poor concentration, headaches, and skin irritations. Another danger of poor air quality is disease transmission. Since only ventilation helps remove airborne bacteria, ensure a heating and cooling system is in place.
Moreover, employers must address carbon monoxide issues. You must reset carbon monoxide levels regularly and provide sufficient ventilation to meet this standard. Lastly, monitor the solvent vapors as they can become explosive at high concentration levels. You have to keep them below their limits to ensure safety. Perhaps, using exhaust systems designed to improve ventilation can help you achieve this.
Organizations committed to addressing safety hazards will always have dedicated and motivated employees. After all, everyone wants to work at a place that has a safe and healthy environment. Hence, start addressing the underlying problems such as working conditions, exposure to chemicals, and other hazards to mitigate the risk of injuries. It will improve workplace productivity while ensuring compliance with Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.