What Are The Common Workplace Hazards?

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Several employees face workplace hazards during their lifetime. However, you can educate yourself about the hazards to expect in your sector and how to avoid them. Online confined space entry training is a program offered by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It teaches the requirements and procedures to protect workers in all industries when entering permit places.

That said, here are the common workplace hazards.

Electrical Hazards

Live or faulty wires can injure and harm employees. Some injuries below 50 volts can be minor, but those above can be fatal. Electrical hazards happen yearly in various industrial sectors, and some employees are badly injured while others lose their lives. Hence, companies need to maintain proper electrical installations and replace all faulty wires to prevent serious electrical injuries.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Working on wet or uneven floors can cause trip and fall accidents. These accidents can cause permanent injuries such as brain damage and back injuries. However, slip and fall accidents are preventable. The management needs to ensure no potholes on the floors and notify employees if the surface is wet. If need be, employees should be provided with slip-resistant wear by the company to avoid such injuries.

Working in Confined Spaces

Enclosed places, such as sewers, drains, and silos, can be dangerous for employees. These confined places could lack enough oxygen. Other times, employees are required to use dangerous chemicals in enclosed places. Lack of training or poor training could lead to injuries to employees and their rescuers. Injuries and deaths in confined places mainly result from poisonous fumes, inadequate oxygen supply, fire, and explosions. That’s why online confined space entry training is vital before workers start working in permit spaces.

Asbestos

Though asbestos is banned, some older buildings still have asbestos materials. Breathing in asbestos dust can lead to mesothelioma and breathing difficulties. The harm caused by asbestos is irreversible, and there is no cure. Hence, employees required to work in buildings with asbestos, such as demolition of buildings, should wear personal protective equipment (PPEs). Also, employees should be trained on how to prevent the disturbance of asbestos because it’s thin and flexible.

Chemical Hazards

Chemical hazards are dangerous because they make confined spaces dangerous for employees. They can be in the form of vapor, liquid, or gas. Chemical hazards can be fatal or cause serious injuries, such as burns and eye injuries. Thus, employees should be trained to distinguish chemicals of different levels, use them, and safely dispose of them. In addition, the online confined space entry training teaches employees how to ensure adequate ventilation during usage and wash their hands after using dangerous chemicals.

Fire Hazards

Poorly maintained workplaces can be affected by the fire. Fire can damage buildings and harm employees and those around them. However, employees can be trained on the safety precautions if a fire breaks at the workplace. Employees need to learn how fire alarm works to alert others when a fire breaks out. Again, fire extinguishers are vital in the workplace. However, managers should check if the fire extinguishers are functional to avoid frustrations if a fire breaks out. If employees work in a highly flammable sector, they should wear fire-resistant gear to prevent severe burns in case of a fire.

Ergonomic Hazards

This results from the body posture of employees when working. Some jobs require employees to strain their bodies and suffer from back injuries. The results of these hazards aren’t a one-day process but develop over the years of working. It also leads to fatigue and long-term illnesses. However, this can be avoided by allowing the employees to work in shifts and stop lifting heavy equipment. In addition, training employees on how to handle specific tasks and prevent injuries is crucial. Furthermore, companies should ensure there are equipment and tools to handle jobs that cause back and muscle strains.

Bottom Line

Hazards at the workplace can be life-changing, mainly if they cause permanent injuries. Fortunately, these hazards can be avoided by training employees to handle tools and chemicals and work in confined spaces. Again, managers should ensure that workplaces have the right equipment to mitigate hazards such as fire, slips and falls, and electrical hazards.