Whether you work in an office, a construction site or factory, every workplace has potential hazards. The key to reducing them is risk assessment, reduction and education. When you know what to look for, accidents are easy to prevent. These are the top three workplace hazards everyone should be aware of.

  1. Unexpected hazards

Unexpected hazards are the most regular cause of serious injury and range from slips and falls to being hit by moving objects and electrocution. These are the types of hazards that are prevented with diligence, risk reduction, education, and by ensuring the workplace is kept clear of hazards like electrical cords to trip on, tools left lying around or even desk drawers left open.

For every workplace there should be safety measures in place that include assessment of flooring for uneven and slippery surfaces, signage for wet areas, and warning lights, exclusion zones and audible alarms for moving machinery. Electrical equipment should also be tested and tagged regularly and structures such as scaffolding should be well maintained and assembled correctly.

Unexpected hazards range from serious incidents such as wall collapses to minor events like tripping on an object left lying around, but injuries can be severe and even fatal. If you feel you’ve suffered an unexpected injury in the workplace, you can contact The Personal Injury Lawyers for further advice.

  1. Environmental hazards

Most employees are aware when they work with environmental hazards such as chemicals, dust or body fluids, but that’s no excuse for complacency. Environmental hazards include any toxin or workplace hazard that can adversely impact a worker’s health if they are subjected to it in single or multiple doses as part of their work environment.

For health workers, this may include contact with bodily fluids through needle-stick injuries. For farmers, it could be a single chemical spill or ongoing contact with a pesticide. And for factory workers, it could be ongoing exposure to high noise levels.

Chemicals and toxins should be signed correctly, with procedures to cope with accidents and spills. Employees should also be provided with the correct safety equipment such as ear muffs and safety glasses. Environmental hazards have the potential to be detrimental to employees’ long-term health, causing lasting medical problems or ongoing disease.  

  1. Repetitive hazards

The hardest risk to spot, repetitive hazards result from activities undertaken on a regular basis that result in muscle strain, back ache or ongoing ailments like tendonitis. Repetitive hazards are best managed through prevention, by ensuring workers have the right equipment to do their job, that they use correct posture and have regular breaks from activities to minimise the impact.

Repetitive hazards are one of the leading causes of lost productivity in the workplace. They also have the potential to impact workers in a long-term way.

Every worker has the right to feel safe in their workplace regardless of whether it’s a remote mine site or city office, and the key to this safety is risk assessment and prevention.   

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