Every workplace presents a set of potential hazards. No matter how safe you think a workplace is, there is always a chance of things going wrong. If not adequately addressed, these occupational hazards can be fatal, causing a severe setback for a company.
Here’s how to manage these common occupational hazards to safeguard workers’ health and encourage a productive working environment.
1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by irritating the median nerve from putting unduly pressure on the wrists or hands. This pressure causes pain to accumulate around the hands and, in more severe cases, can cause an itching sensation and numbing.
Possible measures to help avoid this hazard include stretching exercises before, during, and after work and avoiding excessive wrist flexion while performing tasks such as typing. Additionally, employers should provide proper workplace ergonomics.
2. Slips, trips, and falls
This common hazard can result from uneven floor surfaces, loose cables, wet floors, and so on. Occupations exposed to this type of hazard are those of the utility sector and construction sites.
To help avoid this hazard, properly communicate safety standards to employees. You must ensure regular inspections and enforce adherence to safety guidelines, such as wearing slip-resistant footwear. Employees should take immediate steps to check on injuries after a bad slip, trip, or fall.
3. Neck and back injuries
Poor posture and sedentary work nature are the roots of this occupational hazard. Your back and neck are at risk of injuries sitting down for long periods without proper support.
Possible measures to help avoid this hazard include:
• Adequate ergonomic office equipment
• Encourage employees to stretch and take breaks
• Reduce manual lifting and handling
4. Hearing loss
Hearing loss occurs when workers are unduly or frequently exposed to loud noises or ototoxic chemicals. Industries most exposed to this hazard are manufacturing, construction, and mining.
Possible measures to help avoid this hazard include providing hearing protection gear to employees in affected working conditions and keeping ototoxic chemicals away from workers as much as possible.
5. Fire hazard
Almost all occupations and workplaces are at risk for fire hazards. When this happens, it can lead to varying burns and even death. This hazard can result from poorly maintained electrical equipment or faulty electrical wiring. Another possible cause of this hazard is poorly stored flammable materials.
Always check for fire before and after every shift. Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible at all times, and flammable materials must be handled with care.
6. Eye strain
Eye strain is a common hazard for occupations that require working in front of a desktop all day. Constantly being in front of the computer screen for a long time makes the eyes prone to injuries. This strain can cause a painful sensation or dry eyes.
Possible measures to help avoid this hazard include keeping the computer screen’s brightness at a moderate setting and encouraging employees to wear eye protection. Offices should also provide the proper lighting at the employees’ desks.
Every occupation experiences some form of occupational hazard. It is in the place of the employer or management to identify these hazards and implement strategies to help avoid them. In the event of any injury, take immediate steps to prevent further damage.