Most Common Workplace Hazards You Need to Know About

Workplace Hazards

Most Common Workplace Hazards You Need to Know About

A workplace hazard is anything that can cause harm or injury to an employee, and it can result from the nature of the work, the equipment used, or the work environment. Unfortunately, many employers and employees are unaware of the hazards that exist in their workplace, leaving them at risk of injury or illness. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the 6 most common workplace hazards, as identified by OSHA: safety, physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychological hazards

By familiarising yourself with these hazards, you can take steps to protect yourself and your colleagues, creating a safer and healthier workplace for everyone. So, let’s dive in and explore the 6 types of workplace hazards you need to be aware of.

Safety hazards

Safety hazards are the most common type of workplace hazard. They can be caused by unsafe working conditions, and include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls on wet or slippery surfaces, uneven floors, or cluttered workspaces.
  • Working from heights
  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects
  • Using vibrating equipment
  • Electrical hazards
  • Unguarded machinery

Employers should take steps to reduce physical hazards by providing slip-resistant flooring, adequate lighting, and ergonomic equipment, as well as adequate PPE and safety footwear.

Physical hazards

Physical hazards refer to factors within the work environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. These include:

  • Radiation: including ionizing, nonionizing
  • Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Constant loud noise

Chemical hazards

Chemical hazards can result from exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. These substances can be in the form of gases, vapors, liquids, or solids. Chemical hazards can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, or even cancer. Potential chemical hazards are:

  • Liquids like cleaning products, paints, acids, and solvents
  • Vapors and fumes that come from welding or exposure to solvents
  • Gases like acetylene, propane, carbon monoxide and helium
  • Flammable materials like gasoline, solvents, and explosive chemicals
  • Pesticides

Employers should provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment and training on how to handle hazardous substances.

Workplace Hazards
Workplace Hazards

Biological hazards

Biological hazards can result from exposure to viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms in the workplace. These hazards can cause infections or diseases. This type of hazard is common when working with animals, people, or infectious plant materials, which includes working in schools, day care facilities, universities, hospitals, laboratories, emergency response, nursing homes, as well as outdoor occupations. People working in these environments can be exposed to:

  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Blood and other body fluids
  • Fungi/mold
  • Plants and plant materials
  • Insects
  • Animal and bird droppings

Employers should take steps to reduce biological hazards by providing appropriate personal protective equipment, training on infection control, and regular cleaning and disinfection of workspaces.

Ergonomic hazards

Ergonomic hazards can result from repetitive motions or poor posture. These hazards can cause musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain. Ergonomic hazards include:

  • Improperly adjusted workstations and chairs
  • Frequent lifting, and other repetitive movements
  • Poor posture

These hazards are the hardest to spot, therefore employers should provide ergonomic equipment such as adjustable chairs and desks, as well as training on proper posture and lifting techniques.

Psychological hazards

Psychological hazards – also defined as “work organization hazards” – can result from workplace stress or violence. These hazards can impact mental health and can cause long-term effects, like stress and strain. Examples of psychological hazards include:

  • Workload demands
  • Workplace violence
  • Lack of respect, flexibility, social support, relations
  • Sexual harassment

Employers should take steps to reduce psychological hazards by providing a safe and supportive work environment, training on conflict resolution, and access to mental health resources.

Safety measures and preventive measures

Employers should take steps to identify and mitigate workplace hazards. Safety measures include providing appropriate personal protective equipment, regular inspections of equipment and workspaces, and training on hazard identification and prevention. At Healthy Bean, we know how difficult it can be to keep up with everything regarding workplace health and safety, that’s why we have previously prepared a list of comprehensive guidelines you can use to make sure your workplace is safe, including recommendations on how to choose the best health and safety trainer, how to buy the most adequate safety workwear, essential information on the cost of workplace injuries, and changes to PPE regulations.

Now that you are aware of the potential hazards that exist in your workplace, you can take steps to protect yourself and your colleagues. Don’t hesitate to report hazards to your supervisor or manager, always follow safety protocols, and browse our website to find the best PPE, Safety Workwear and Footwear for your team.

Healthy Bean is the ideal supplier for those looking for high-quality PPESafety Workwear and Safety Footwear solutions. With more than 4,000 products, we provide the best option for all types of work environments, from construction to manufacturing, welding, medical, food production, hospitality, corporate, and more.

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