Work can cause health and safety risks which have the potential to harm. Usually almost all workplaces have hazards. In order to minimize the effects, identification of hazards by regular ‘workplace risk assessments’ and eliminating them is essential. Workplace hazards can be divided as follows:
Physical/ safety hazards
When working conditions are unsafe leading to injury, illness and even death, it is called safety hazards. Uneven floor surfaces, wet floors, trailing cables, poor lighting, and poor housekeeping are some of the main causes for slips, falls and trips which are known to be the commonest causes of injury at workplace. It is the employer’s responsibility to safeguard himself and his employees from these injuries by implementing appropriate rules and regulations. For example, workers must ensure to wear footwear and protective head gear when working at construction sites; if the floor is wet, appropriate signs must be used to inform people; use of cable guards to cover cables when required. Other hazards include, radiation, temperature extremes, confined spaces etc.
Exposure to bacterial, parasitic and viral infections due to close contact with blood and other bodily fluids, mould, insect bites and plants leading to disease of the body are called biological hazards. These are common among those working in laboratories, hospitals, garden spaces and closed workplaces with air conditioning. These workplaces may need office reinstatement Singapore. And those working in laboratories and hospitals may need to take precautions by wearing gloves and masks when handling such fluids or around infected patients.
When the musculoskeletal system is at strain due to body positions acquired during work it is called ergonomic hazards. Causes include, heavy lifting, repetitive movements, vibration and poor posture due to uncomfortable workstations. Workshops must be carried out to educate employees about proper posture and frequent breaks for activities that require repetitions. If workstations are improper then an office design company can be consulted for a redo. Although the short term effects of these hazards maybe as simple as muscle pain, long term effects include, spinal deformities and fractures of bones so they must be avoided as much as possible.
Other hazards at workplace include chemical hazards where exposure to liquids, gases and fumes can cause serious problems such as breathing issues; work organization hazards which includes sexual harassment, workload demands and workplace violence and many more. All these hazards must be well identified and rectified before it is too late. Hazards not only harm the employees but the company itself by workers’ compensation costs and reducing work power. Prevention is better than cure!