6 Workplace Hazards and How to Stop Them
While there are often tens, sometimes hundreds, of hazards in a typical workplace, there are a few that usually have higher frequencies of occurrence. When you narrow down the types of hazards there are a few risks that, depending upon the nature of a business, workers are more predisposed to. As an employee, as well as embracing all health and safety training that is given, always seek to learn the most common hazards in your firm and how they impact how you work.
When a business lacks good building materials and has poorly designed fire safety systems it is far more likely to suffer fire accidents. It is always important to watch out for flammable content and sources of ignition. Fire is one of the most destructive hazards a company can ever encounter, meaning that it is vital to build proper fire safety structures as well as installing working fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Health and safety managers who hold a NEBOSH Fire Certificate will be in a far better position to identify fire hazards and introduce remedial measures before a fire breaks out.
Slips, trips, and falls
Having uneven surfaces, wet floors, loose cables, leaking taps and poorly marked sites predisposes the employees to tripping. Falls and tripping are the most common workplaces hazards, often with low risk but high frequency and they cost companies a lot of cumulative costs. It is always vital to walk through the company every so often and highlight the potential hazardous surfaces.
Any "live" wires, broken switches and overloaded circuits can fatally harm people, either directly, or indirectly through some sort of conducting object or material. Electrical accidents most often tend to be fatal or leave the victim severely or permanent injured. The most tragic part of electrical hazards which cause such damage is that most of the time they are easy to minimise or even eliminate all together through simple common sense and good health and safety practices such as not using equipment with damaged power cables.
Working in confined spaces
Working in silos, tanks, chambers, pits, sewers and trenches creates unique risks to workers. The use of paints, welding equipment and chemicals can amplify the risk of poisoning, fumes, lack of oxygen and heat in such cramped and confined spaces. No workers should have to work in such environments without proper training and safety clothing, and other safeguards such as not working alone will further decrease the potential for serious incidents to occur.
Loud noises in the work space can lead to permanent damage to your hearing. Most often hearing loss is progressive, when you work in noisy spaces over many days/weeks/months/years. It is always important for a company to provide quality ear protection when employees work around loud machinery, or when working with explosives, cartridge tools, or gunfire.
Most cleaning products, fuels and fluid agents we use in the workplace have toxic levels of chemical components. Some of them are easily flammable while other can scar our skin or get into the bloodstream when inhaled or ingested. Conducting safety training on the potency of the chemical substances that are regularly used could go a long way in reducing incidences of injuries, illnesses and damage attributable to harmful chemicals.