Accidents are an unfortunate inevitability of our everyday lives. No matter how careful we are, unforeseen circumstances can crop up at any time and present a danger to both our physical and mental well being.
And with so much of our adult lives spent at work, it stands to reason that our mishaps frequently occur at our place of employment. Of course, employers have a legal and moral responsibility to do everything they can to look after their staff. Without safety measures in place, the number of accidents, injuries and deaths would be even higher. But the threat of hazards can rarely be removed altogether, so which are the most common?
Recent data reveals that 29% of non-fatal injuries in the workplace were due to slips, trips or falls on the same level. That’s comfortably the highest proportion, with handling, lifting or carrying the next closest on 19%. Wet floors, uneven surfaces, rugs, cables and wires can all cause this type of hazard, which can lead to serious injury and could leave the employer open to legal action. Therefore, these hazards are an important legal factors to consider when starting a business.
This type of hazard refers to the impact on your musculoskeletal system. For example, those who work in an office may experience back or neck pain if their chair does not offer sufficient support, or their desktop screen or keyboard are positioned incorrectly. Those in manual jobs can help to alleviate these risks by using ergonomic tool bags to avoid excess strain on the body when transporting equipment and taking regular breaks from using tools to avoid repetitive strain injuries.
Those who work in more active professions – for example career tradespeople, chefs or those in the emergency services – are more likely to encounter this type of hazard. It might come through working from a height, near fire or surrounded by excess noise.
For people working in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing or the construction industry, chemical and biological hazards can prove a very real threat. Exposure to harmful substances can cause severe injury, skin irritation and even serious respiratory problems.
No matter which industry you’re in, working can take a significant toll on your mental health. The stress of an impending deadline, pressure from bosses, the monotony of the daily grind and even bullying and harassment from colleagues can all have a serious impact. This in turn could lead to further problems such as depression and anxiety, which will make the prospect of going to work feel all the more daunting.
Work organization hazards are other major challenge to look out for in today’s modern office. These include major stressors or dangers related to workload, high intensity, as well as pace. Similarly, workplace violence, respect, or sexual harassment all fall under organizational hazards classification. Other important elements to monitor include flexibility, control, and social support from others. Certainly, understanding work organization hazards is key to run a successful, safe office.
Of course, you should always be aware of potential safety hazards. These include threats related to inappropriate guarding, equipment malfunctions, and machinery breakdowns. Surely, this can greatly impact your business operations, worker safety, and bottom line. Moreover, these factors will play a major role in your business’s productivity, as well as your personal peace of mind. Indeed, safety hazards are critical to protect your company.