Most common safety hazards in the workplace

Safety hazards are commonly present in most workplaces at one time or another. But some industries are more prone to unsafe conditions than others, thus the need for occupational testing, such as respiratory fit testing services. Respiratory protection is critical in workplaces where atmospheric contaminants, such as respirable crystalline silica and dust, are present. Australian Standard 1715 (Respiratory Protection) requires affected industries to have some form of respiratory fit testing. This is where respirator fit testing services come into play.

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Atmosphere contaminants, however, are not the only hazards employees are exposed to.

Common safety hazards in the workplace

Physical hazards

These are caused by spills on floors or other tripping hazards, such as cords running across the floor or block isles. This can cause injury, illness, and death and will cost a business big money. This is especially true when claims are filed against it.

This is why the classification of injuries statistics should be part of a company’s best practices. Even when they are not required by the law to do so, it will be to a business’ best interest to cover all their bases. Click here Resile

Injuries classification will document the history of exposure to hazards that led to injury or illness. When properly documented, company owners can dispute a claim.

Biological hazards

These types of risks are associated with working with people, animals or infectious plant materials. While working in hospitals, for example, an employee will be exposed to bacteria and viruses and blood and other body fluids.

In other industries, a worker may be exposed to plants, fungi/mould, insect bites, and animal and bird droppings.

Chemical hazards

Workers involved in preparing chemicals are highly at risk of chemical exposure. Certain liquids, gases, vapour and fumes, pesticides, and flammable materials can cause breathing problems, skin irritation and illness.

In workplaces where respiratory protection is imposed, company owners must hire respirator fit testing services to prevent problems that arise because a respirator does not fit properly, is not worn properly, or doesn’t provide an adequate level of protection.

Ergonomic hazards

These commonly occur because of:

  • The type of work
  • Working conditions that strain the body
  • Incorrect body positions
  • Repetitive or awkward movements
  • Frequent lifting
  • Improperly adjusted chairs & workstations
  • Vibration
  • Using too much force frequently

Among the many risks employees are exposed to, the ergonomic type is the hardest to spot since people don’t always immediately notice the strain their body is experiencing.

In the short term, such hazard may only cause sore muscles. In the long term, ergonomic hazards can lead to a serious long-term illness.

Work organisation hazards

It’s wrong to think that occupational hazards only apply to industries where there is direct exposure to potential risks, such as a factory or coal mine.

The stress and strain of certain workplace issues can also affect an employee’s health. Some work organisation hazards are workplace violence, lack of respect, workload demands, intensity and/or pace of the work, sexual harassment, and other issues that lead to stress.

All these occupational risks, however, can be prevented or mitigated if occupational testing services, including altitude medical assessment, are carried out. These services are designed to identify risks present in the workplace and provide the appropriate solutions.

They also help ensure compliance with regulations set by the Australian government, including one that specifies respirator fit testing services must be carried out.

Post Author: Alice B. Saunders

Alice B. Saunders