Keeping employees safe while on the job is a big task. With so many varying workplace hazards, keeping every worker from protected is nearly impossible. Every seven seconds an employee is hurt on the job, according to studies.
Those numbers are shocking, but there are ways to reduce accidents and other health issues. Take a look at the information below to learn how you can create a safer environment for your workers.
The Most Common Workplace Hazards
Hazards in the workplace occur for different reasons. Below are the most common causes of job hazards:
Slip and Falls
Perhaps the primary cause of hazards in the workplace are slip and falls. A person can lose their footing even when there aren’t hazards around. However, the chances increase when they’re present.
The most common causes of trips and slips are loose rugs, uneven floors, cluttered areas, unstable work surfaces, and accidental spills. Furthermore, inclement weather like snow, ice, and rain can also create a hazardous work environment. The exterior ramps, steps, parking lot, and walkways create a slippery surface as workers enter and exit the building.
To reduce these safety hazards, clean up spills immediately and put up identifying hazard signs around the area. Use ice melting products and non-slip mats to minimize the possibility of a slip and fall.
Furthermore, clear walking areas of boxes, clutter, cords, and carpet that’s shredded or buckled.
Spending hours a day working on a computer causes eye strain. It irritates the eyes and causes them to become dry and eventually prevents employees from focusing. To create a better work environment, close office blinds to reduce glare on the computers, and dim overhead lights.
Also, position the monitors under eye level to reduce glare on the screen. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests that workers take a 10-minute rest every hour and focus their eyes on objects at varying distances.
Another one of the most common health hazards in the workplace are ergonomic hazards. Individuals who sit in the same spot for long hours have complications with strain in their bodies. It causes sore muscles and other issues.
Aches and pains from ergonomic hazards happen as a result of poor posture, frequent lifting, improperly adjusted work chairs, using lots of force, and uncomfortable movements.
To avoid body strain, employees should sit in a relaxed posture, keep elbows at a 90-degree angle when typing, and adjust their work chairs to their height, and sit up straight to get the proper back support.
Employers should also keep an eye on symptoms of ergonomic hazards. The repercussions from it create musculoskeletal disorders and other serious health conditions.
Chemicals are one of the most harmful health hazards in the workplace. When employees are exposed to chemicals in any form like liquid, gas, or solids, it can lead to safety issues.
Workers may experience skin irritation, breathing problems, or other illnesses. Be aware of pesticides, flammable items like gasoline, and explosive chemicals, propane, carbon monoxide, cleaning products, paint, and fumes from solvents.
Biological hazards occur as a result of exposure to disease while working with people, animals, or infectious plants. Individuals who work in daycare facilities, schools, hospitals, laboratories, and outdoor work environments are at a higher risk.
When workers come into contact with harmful elements like bacteria and viruses, plants, fungi, mold, blood, bodily fluids, and animal droppings it increases the chances of illness.
Workers in these environments should wear gloves, masks, and sanitize their hands to reduce the risk of infection.
Ways to Minimize Workplace Hazards
There are several ways to create a safer work environment for employees. Failing to protect your workers could result in financial or custodial penalties. Here are some suggestions to help you avoid that:
Properly Train Employees
By training your employees, it helps them to avoid workplace hazards. If they understand how to correctly operate machinery and do other job duties, it diminishes the chances of workplace injuries.
Take a Risk Assessment
As the employer, it’s your duty to know exactly the hazards that are common or your industry. Once you have that information, do a physical assessment of the work area. Make sure that there aren’t any potential hazards at play.
An online SDS Management program can also help your business by assisting with monitoring your inventory and maintaining the compliance of your facility.
Implement Safety Measures
After your risk assessment, take action to eliminate the identifying hazard. For instance, if you know that falling is a potential hazard, use prevention equipment instead.
Social Workplace Hazards
Not all workplace hazards include accidents or injuries. Stress and other psychological issues are hazards too. Problems like workplace demands, sexual harassment, lack of respect, violence, overbearing control, and other factors contribute to it.
Employees spend a large portion of their time at work, so naturally, these issues create a toxic environment. As an employer, it’s your duty to ensure that all workers feel safe and comfortable.
Although running a business requires structure, and work has to be done to ensure that things run smoothly, remember that employees deserve fair treatment. Create an open-door policy for workers to provide suggestions or express their issues.
Also, train all managers and supervisors to respectfully lead their team members.
Create a Safe Workplace Environment
An injury or accident can take place at any time, no matter if a person is at work or not. However, by taking safety measures to reduce workplace hazards, it makes things easier for your company and your employees.
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