It is every business operator’s responsibility to maintain the safety of their workplace facility. Unfortunately, unmonitored hazards is an accident waiting to happen. Also, employees who routinely perform the same job for years, eventually become more relaxed about their safety.
Safety training helps put in place prevention measures to reduce or prevent altogether the risk of workplace illnesses and injuries. With the assistance of a professional safety consultant in Oshawa, you will be able to identify the various hazards present in your day-to-day operations. Without safety training, your company becomes a breeding ground of workplace accidents and injuries.
The following are the most common workplace hazards that can compromise your employees’ health and safety:
1. Physical – This type of hazard comprises of substances or activities that pose a risk to your physical safety, which often results in injury, illnesses, and even death. Physical hazards in the workplace include:
- Air quality
- Slippery floors
- Obstacles in walkways
- Unsafe machinery
- Poor lighting
Workers working in industrial environments, such as in oil and gas, mining, and construction, are exposed to these hazards. To avoid preventable incidents, all employees (managers, supervisors, and workers) must constantly proactively communicate with one other. Additionally, the company must also provide the employees with functional equipment, which for gas includes the MSA ALTAIR 4XR, and give employees proper training to use this and other safety equipment effectively.
2. Ergonomic – Ergonomic hazards are almost present in every type of work environment. This type of hazard includes physical activities that often result in injuries or muscle strains caused by repetitive movements, heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, long hours of standing, shift work, and slip-and-fall. Using the right equipment and tools, having an ergonomic-designed workplace, and performing exercises and stretches can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
3. Biological – Biological hazards include disease-causing bacteria and viruses, harmful insects, plants, and animals. Exposure to biological hazards often results in health problems, such as skin irritation, respiratory allergies and infection, serious immune system disorders, and even various types of cancers. There are different ways in which a worker can be exposed to this hazard. For instance, healthcare professionals are more at risk due to potential contact with human bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, and feces. These biological hazards may come with viral or bacterial diseases. Also, people working in farms and meat processing industry can be exposed to animal diseases and infections, such as avian flu, Q-fever, and Hendra virus, via sensitization. These hazards need to be reported ASAP. What makes a biological hazard more dangerous than the others is that it is widespread yet the risk of exposure is not always apparent. When your employees start to show signs of illness, make sure to report the problem to a safety consultant.
4. Chemical – Your employees that are working with chemicals may be at risk of health hazards. Chemical hazards may range from cleaning agents to chemical production. This type of hazard can be in the form of fumes, gases, liquids, vapours, and corrosives. When chemicals are stored, used, or handled improperly, it can result in injury, fire, or even exposure. These harmful substances can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Its effects on the human body can take place immediately or eventually over prolonged exposure. To prevent exposure to chemical hazards, make sure to provide a comprehensive safety training to all of your employees.
5. Psychosocial – Stress, violence or bullying are some of the elements of psychosocial hazards. It also includes factors like how workers interact with each other and/or their emotional responses. Psychosocial hazards can have a negative impact on their performance. Workers experiencing stress, harassment, or other concerns should get in touch with the human resource department. Also, managers and department heads should conduct regular one-on-one meetings with workers to ensure that their concerns are considered and looked into.