Workplace Hazards – Reasons & Remedies

Work and health

Workplace Hazards - Reasons & Remedies image

A workplace hazard is anything that could cause a potential harm, injury, illness and even death to a person. Hazards are present in every workplace, so it is important that you know how to identify possible hazards at your workplace to be better prepared to control or eliminate them.

Hazardous substance in the premise.  These are substances that can have an adverse effect on the worker’s health. Examples of hazardous substance at work are:

  • Poisons
  • Substances that cause burns or skin irritation
  • Dangerous Goods which present an immediate hazard to people, property or environment due to its physical, chemical or acute toxicity properties.
  • Insecticides
  • Solvents, bleaches such as hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite
  • Spotting agents such as amyl acetate, acetic acid, hydrofluoric acid , aqueous ammonia and oxalic acid.
  • Solvents
  • Acids
  • Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum
  • Petroleum Products

Possibility of side effects.When one is exposed to hazardous substance, possible side effects could include:

  • Headache
  • Birth Defects
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Kidney, liver or lung disorder
  • Disorder in the nervous system
  • Dermatitis and other skin rashes
  • Poisoning
  • Chemical burns
  • Reproductive hazards on men
  • Bodily injury
  • Decrease in life span
  • Change in mental condition which results from stress, traumatic experience and exposure to solvents.
  • Effects on a developing fetus for pregnant employees

Physical Hazards. This is known as a factor within the environment that can pose a harmful effect on the body without necessary touching it. Below are common examples of physical hazards:

  • Electricity
  • Radiation
  • Noise
  • Pressure
  • Heights
  • Vibrations
  • Heat and Cold Stress
  • Ergonomic Hazards
  • Equipment
  • Confined spaces

Psychological Hazards. This type of hazards affects the mental well-being or mental health of the employee which impacts the worker’s ability to work in a safe and healthy manner. This includes but not limited to stress, violence and other workplace stressors that affects the psychological well-being of the worker. Below are some factors that could result to psychological hazards:

  • Long working hours
  • High Emotional Demands
  • Poor work-life balance
  • New forms of employment contract
  • Work intensification
  • Workplace harassment
  • Occupational violence

Prevention is better than cure. Since you have already identified the possible sources of hazards at work, you may follow the steps below on how to prevent hazards at the workplace.

  • Regular workplace inspections.
  • Monitoring hazard controls
  • All hazardous products must be properly labeled to clearly identify the product and provide hazardous information about it.
  • Every employee should be provided with up-to-date education program to be able to understand the possible hazard substances and how to avoid the dangers that they could cause.
  • Implement safe work procedures and appropriate and effective administrative and engineering controls.
  • Purchase the safest substances possible
  • Identify the most qualified person responsible for carrying out the program

Responding to Hazards.The severity of the damage of workplace hazards depends on how soon the victim is responded. Take these notes in mind if a staff member has been injured.

  • Arrange first aid and support for the injured employee
  • Ensure that the injury has been reported as soon as possible
  • Inform the injured employee of their eligibility to claim compensation
  • Provide support to the worker through any injury treatment and return to work programs

Managing hazards.A safe workplace is expected to be provided to all employees to ensure that they work at their optimum potential. No one wants to work in a place where they feel that they are not safe and could be in danger any time. Read on to see tips on how to manage hazards at the work place.

  • Identify the hazards and determine who might be harmed and how
  • Decide on control measures and put controls in place
  • Review the controls to check its reliability and effectiveness
  • Control measures should be implemented through getting rid of the harm or prevent the risk
  • Replace substance with something less harmful
  • Apply administrative arrangement to limit the exposure to hazards

Once the causes of hazards at the work place and its possible remedies have been identified, you can ensure that you provide a safe and conducive work place to your employees. Hiring an experienced workers comp attorney could cost a lot so make sure that you eliminate possible danger and injury at work.