No matter what your work environment - office, restaurant, warehouse, showroom, construction site, medical facility, store – there are potential hazards. And surprisingly, a lot of them will be similar in any of those working environments.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common workplace hazards that can easily go unchecked.
1. Slips, Trips And Falls
Would you believe that the most common type of injuries in the workplace are slips, trips and falls? Things like wet surfaces, trailing cables, forgotten boxes and items strewn around, are some of the main causes of slips, trips and falls. Uneven floors and poor lighting can cause an unsteady journey. You can take simple steps to make your workplace as safe as possible for your employees. For example, clean up spills as quickly as possible, clear away equipment whenever possible, improve your lighting and install slip resistant safety tape in problem areas.
2. Poor Housekeeping
Poor housekeeping isn’t just an eyesore, it can become a real hazard. Depending on your organization’s size, you don’t necessarily need a dedicated housekeeping team; it is a simple matter of putting things where they go and cleaning up after yourself. For the most part, have your staff take accountability for good housekeeping in the workplace.
Excessive noise can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Hearing loss can either take place progressively over a long period or, if the noise is exceptionally loud and sudden, instantly. We are talking about serious work noise – when it reaches 85 decibels – the sound of a passing train at 50 feet. As an employer, you must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones when workplace noise reaches this level.
4. Lack Of First Aid Training
A first aid kit does not replace a trained first aider, as many businesses like to think. Businesses should make sure to provide ‘adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. What counts as adequate and appropriate will depend on your workplace. A construction site, for example, will have radically different requirements than a call center.
5. Ergonomic Hazards
An ergonomic hazard is basically any physical factor in your environment that hurts your body. Things like flimsy office chairs, poor lighting and invasive noise are all common examples of ergonomic hazards. One of the main problems with ergonomic hazards is that they don’t have an immediate effect on you and that makes them tricky to identify.