Every job comes with it’s risks and hazards. It’s important be aware of as many as possible, but there are some that are even harder to spot than a wet floor without the “wet floor” sign.
Here are the 4 most common workplace hazards and how to avoid them.
What are the most common workplace hazards?
Workplace hazards abundant and varied, but they will all fall under one of these 4 categories:
- Physical hazards
- Ergonomic hazards
- Chemical hazards
- Biological hazards
The first kind of hazard that comes to mind would be the Physical kind, such as a slip and fall on a wet floor, or any other type of accident.
Ergonomic hazardsaffect the the musculoskeletal system. These are back pains from lifting heavy objects, such as carpal tunnel or any other wrist injury. These types of injuries are usually caused by repetitive movements, manual handling and poor body positioning;
Chemical hazardsare any hazardous substance that can cause harm to your employees, as well as Bacterial and Viral Hazards.
Bacterial and Viral hazardsare threats to the public health, such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and Legionnaires disease. The common cold can even be included in this group.
It’s interesting to note that most injuries are of the ergonomic kind — the kind we often forget about.
How many times have you been sitting in a chair, and then realized your back hurts later as a result of poor lumbar support?
Are you positioning your hands properly when you type and use a mouse?
For those with a clerical-heavy workload, having an ergonomic keyboard and mouse will help prevent pain later on, as well as relieve everyday strain if you have an existing condition. Anyone with a previous wrist injury should definitely wear a wrist brace on the job.
Here is a wrist brace that will support your wrist, and still leave you with a full range of motion — The WristWidget. It help prevent pain and can even help serious wrist injuries in the healing process.
An attempt at lifting a heavy object is another serious workplace concern. Proper posture is important, when lifting is important, even if you don’t think the object is that heavy. You might not realize lifting it was a mistake until after the fact!
That’s why it does well to have a lower back brace, if you lift heavy objects everyday.
And of course, we can’t forget those little pathogenic hazards that can also fly in under the radar.
Fun fact:The common cold is contagious a day or two before you even show symptoms. Most people will be infectious for a total of two weeks. Symptoms are at their worst during the first two to three days of a cold, and this is when you’re most likely to unintentionally pose a hazard.
This is why workplace cleanliness is so important. Shared areas, doorknobs, keyboards/mice and surfaces in the bathrooms should be sanitized daily, and anyone who feels “under the weather” shouldn’t have to worry about taking a day or two off, so they won’t ultimately get everyone else sick.
Making sure your team members aren’t unknowingly hurting themselves and (each other) is essential. Poor ergonomics and workplace cleanliness can also make for a less than desirable work performance, which means wasted time for the company in the long run. There are so many good reasons to play it safe, for everyone’s sake.