Be Aware and Prepare Yourself from these Workplace Hazards

Even though some occupations are more hazardous than others, safety risks exist in every corner of your workplace. The most important thing is to know the hazards you’re subjected to as an employee. Any kind of accident or incident that may occur as a result of diversified hazards can have negative effects in the workplace for the employees and consequently, affect the company’s productivity. While on the same note, companies with numerous incidents and accidents in the workplace have a tendency to attract negative PR, negative energy, and low employee morale.

That having been said, by identifying the potential hazards in your workplace or company, you’ll be able to better prepare, eliminate, and prevent them from happening in the future. As an employee, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for your safety first, and then the safety of your co-workers. Most companies have workplace safety measures and guidelines on what to do when things such as a fire outbreak, robbery invasion, and other safety-threatening incidents occur. Unfortunately, however, most of these guidelines are overlooked or forgotten. This article seeks to equip you with information that will help you to be aware and prepare yourself from the following workplace hazards.

Chemical hazards

Especially in the manufacturing industry, many companies use various chemical compounds. They may either be manufacturing these chemicals or using them to manufacture other products. Sometimes they’re produced as by-products. However, some chemicals may be labeled as safe, but the long-term effects of direct exposure could potentially raise health hazards to employees. Some of these may include cleaning agents, disinfectants, carbon fuels, and volatile hydrocarbons from products used in everyday life, the list is endless.

The bottom line is; exposure to certain chemicals can cause immediate or gradual health effects, some of which could be short-term or long-term. The sad truth is that many employees in today’s world, especially in big cities such as Columbus, OH, has assigned tasks in working environments where  they get continuously exposed to hazardous chemicals and there’s nothing they can do about it. Research has it, that even though it may take years for illnesses to develop after being exposed to certain chemicals, the negative effects could be extreme on your health and well-being. However, before this happens, ensure that you take all the necessary to prevent yourself by wearing protective gear at all times. In addition to this, employees need to train workers on handling chemicals at workplaces.

Physical injury hazards

Hazards or risks of physical injury may be present in any industry or occupation where some form of physical or manual work is involved. As a matter of fact, it can occur in workplaces where no manual work takes place. For instance, tripping and falling while walking through the floor of an office or commercial setting can result in severe injuries to an employee. This is where worker’s compensation insurance comes into play.

But even if your employer has an insurance policy in place and is taking measures to minimize some of these workplace hazards, the possibility of encountering a workplace injury isn’t eliminated. What’s more, getting fairly compensated for your injury is never a guarantee. Experienced Columbus, IN workers’ compensation lawyer, Tim Coriden, says that when injured in a workplace-related injury, the best way to ensure you get paid for the respective damages, medical costs, and lost wages is to work with a competent attorney in this field of law. This is because quite often, employers and insurance companies have a way of cutting corners in an attempt to minimize their liability or deny workers’ compensation claims. All the same, other common physical injury hazards may include:  

  • Working from tall heights
  • Working on moving objects/parts
  • Scaffolding
  • Trip/fall hazards
  • Working on electrical equipment
  • Working machinery

As you can see, there is no telling when or where the next accident will take place in your workplace,  given the plethora of hazards aforementioned. Physical hazards are perhaps the most common types of hazards employees are subjected to, every day in their careers. Other physical hazards involve our surroundings. Some of these may include poor air quality, frequent exposure to extreme temperature, noise, plants, and radiation, just to name a few. Workers who are exposed to these kinds of hazards are usually working in industries such as mining, drilling, and construction sites. This means that companies in such sectors have to closely work with their employees to come up with ways of managing and minimizing the risks. In addition to this, they must ensure that they’ve trained and equipped their employees with protective gear and the right equipment.

Psychosocial hazards

Even after hazard proofing the workplace, there will always be something to worry about. Psychosocial hazards involve the interaction of workers with their fellow workers. This interaction can either help to improve productivity or negatively impact worker effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. Psychosocial hazards happen as a result of bullying, workplace violence, and stress. It may take time to identify this type of hazard because most employees choose to quit when things get worse, rather than facing confrontation or intimidation. However, having a department that works towards the employee’s welfare and needs may help to raise awareness in workplaces. In addition to this, employers need to provide an avenue where worker grievances are listened to and amicably resolved. Holding regular one on one meetings with workers, managers, and supervisors can help towards voicing different concerns while improving worker-to worker-relationships.

Ergonomic hazards

Ergonomic hazards are usually as a result of the strains workers are subjected to depending on the type of work they put on their bodies, working positions, or working conditions. Ergonomic hazards can be caused by a range of other issues including;

  • Long working hours
  • Awkward repetitive movements
  • Poor aeration
  • Poor lighting
  • Workstations that are improperly adjusted
  • Wrong tool/equipment selection

Ergonomic hazards can also be as a result of strains from standing for long, lifting heavy loads, and pushing/pulling to mention but a few. Managing ergonomic hazards takes the efforts of both employees and employers working together towards managing some of these issues. As a worker, it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough sleep, you’ve adjusted your workstation accordingly, and taken some time to exercise. On the other hand, employers need to provide a safe working environment, providing breaks, and ensuring that workers are equipped with the right tools and equipment for the job.

Working in an industrial environment can present many dangers, and risk hazards. There are no known ways of ensuring that workplaces are 100%-free of hazards. The most important thing is for employers to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy in the workplace. For those injured, while working, it’s imperative to get them compensated, and buying worker’s compensation insurance for your firm can spare you the liabilities that may come from such. As an employee, always ensure you work for an employer who respects your rights and is straight with the law before signing on the dotted lines.

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