Avoidable Workplace Health and Safety Hazards
Every job carries certain risks. Some are obvious, like those that a miner or a construction worker face, while some are far more subtle and considered very common, such as driving after working hard through the night. While it is simply not possible for almost any workplace environment to be completely devoid of risks, taking adequate precautions and setting certain rules may reduce these hazards significantly.
The most common health and safety hazards in the workplace are (in no particular order): transportation accidents, communicable disease, slipping and falling, violence in the workplace, toxic events (primarily chemicals and gas exposure), electrocution or explosion, being struck by objects, ergonomic injuries and repetitive motion and last but certainly not the least – hearing loss. Some of them affect us violently and directly, while others deteriorate out health slowly and steadily, which doesn’t make them any less harmful. Of course, some of these are more present in certain professions and every workplace is unique in this regard. After you have identified those that affect you and/or your employees the most in your line of work, here are some tips on how to avoid some of them.
In today culture people and not deterred from going to work when they are ill. On the contrary, they are in a way encouraged to work sick, as the number of sick days are limited. Enforcing a different sick-day policy will go a long way in diminishing the possibility of an epidemic within a company, as will enabling those who can work from home to do so in these circumstances. These may cost the company, but it is much more reasonable in the long term to be prepared for these eventuality, or the business stands to lose much more if a bigger number of employees catches a cold or a flu.
Although this happens mostly in industrial environments, offices are not immune to high levels of noise nowadays. Aside from making sure everybody is using adequate protection in the form of headphones or earplugs suitable for a specific type of noise, it is advisable for the noisiest machines to be separated from the workforce where possible. This way they will be less exposed to noise, which will have a far smaller effect on overall productivity. Noise curtains or similar systematic solutions for noise pollution are considered obligatory in industrial conditions.
Slipping and Tripping
Although it may seem a bit silly, there are the two are officially the cause of more than a third of all injuries in both service and manufacturing industries and more than a half of all the non-fatal injuries sustained by the members of the public. Prevention is really all that can be done here. Usual liability insurance does not cover compensation in the aftermath of an injury sustained by the member of the public, so this is a particularly slippery ground for business owners.
Education and Prevention
While regulations determine the way that, for example, fire protection standards have to be met, prevention, adequate education and training of the employees are most important for the prevention of accidents in the workplace, especially those caused by inadequate handling of the equipment. All employees must be trained in operating the equipment that is new to them and all machines must be maintained and serviced regularly. This applies to other hazards as well. All workers should be made aware of risks they face on the workplace, especially those less obvious like sustaining injuries due to repetitive motion, for example, as well as proper techniques and procedures on how to minimize them.
Natasha is writer and blogger from Brisbane, covering various themes. Currently writing for Flexshield about the importance of Noise Control, soundproofing and workplace safety