How to Protect Against Various Types of Workplace Hazards
Workplace hazards are threats to the health and safety of employees no matter what industry you are in, including nurse case management in Utah. Without proper protection and training, these workplace hazards can cause lasting and damaging health effects to employees. In order to keep your workers safe on the job and protect your business from liabilities as well as workers’ compensation claims, as an employer, you should follow a set of precautions so that your employees are safe and well informed.
Our nurse case managers in Utah believe that prevention is the best way to make sure that all workers are completely safe and healthy. Because of this, we’ve shared a thorough list of workplace hazards, why they are dangerous, and what you and your company can do to keep employees safe. This insight will help ensure your company and employees conduct their work safely at your facility!
Biological hazards can include mold, bacteria and viruses, pests, and bodily fluids, like blood. They usually are associated with living things and can cause a wide range of illnesses. Some places with a high instance of biological hazards include doctor’s offices and hospitals, but almost any workspace can be at risk. You can keep your workplace safe from biological hazards by ensuring proper cleaning and disinfecting methods and making sure to items that are contaminated are disposed of in a safe and approved way.
Chemical hazards, unlike biological hazards, aren’t organic and generally consist of materials made in a lab or by a manufacturer. There is a wide range of chemical hazards that can include anything from cleaning products to reactive agents. The different types of chemical hazards include ones that are flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic, irritant, and environmental. Each chemical hazard has its own set of dangers that can cause burns, respiratory symptoms, blindness, and more. Your company should have proper safety clothing, including goggles, gloves, and other gear to protect skin as well as a station to rinse off in case skin contact does occur. Additionally, you will need the proper equipment to handle and dispose of chemicals.
Physical hazards are hazards that can harm an employee without necessarily coming in contact with them. For example, high levels of noise in a manufacturing plant can cause hearing loss or unchecked radon levels can lead to cancer. Make sure that your workplace has proper ventilation, noise control, and is regularly inspected for any issues that can lead to physical hazards.
Physical hazards and safety hazards often go hand in hand. However, safety hazards fall under the category of unsafe working conditions that can be caused by contact. For example, slippery floors or unfinished foundations can lead to slips and falls that injure employees. These conditions can be avoided if your company regularly works to keep the space safe and accident-proof.
Ergonomic hazards are less obvious than other hazards. Conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel, along with other overuse injuries, can be attributed to ergonomic hazards. When workers are positioned or are using their bodies in an unnatural or unsafe way, these conditions can begin to pop up. For employers, ensure that your workers have the resources to safely complete their daily tasks. For example, if the job requires any lifting, regularly train and re-train employees on proper lifting procedures.
Not all workplace injuries are physical in nature. A good portion of workers’ compensation claims that require the help of a case manager involves psychological hazards. Some common examples of these hazards are sexual harassment, bullying, and overworking. As an employer, it is your job to make work feel like a safe and judgment-free space where employees feel comfortable doing their jobs without fear of discrimination or threats from coworkers. Treat all claims from employees seriously and work to push for an environment where workers are comfortable reporting instances that can cause psychological damage.