7 Causes of Workplace Hazards


In your workplace, you no doubt want to keep your employees safe. However, even with proper security measures, your workers are still at risk of injury or illness due to the some common hazards. By identifying both common and uncommon hazards in your workplace and educating your employees on avoiding potential injuries or illnesses during work, you can further protect their safety.

 

1.  Fire

The first workplace hazard is the risk of a fire breaking out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3 percent of workplace deaths are the result of a fire or explosion. There are many different reasons a fire might break out in your building, including chemical spills, machinery or equipment malfunctioning, gaseous containers, electrical failures, not discarding flammable materials properly and many other reasons. To protect your employees, have fire extinguishers in the building and educate your employees on how to use them properly. You should also have designated fire exits.

2.  Slips and Falls

Next is the risk of a slip and fall which is a risk regardless of where you work and what kind of business you have. A slip could be as simple as a spill in the break room that hadn’t been cleaned up yet or falling over a computer cord in the aisle. Tile and linoleum flooring is also a risk, which is common in break rooms and restrooms. If it was recently waxed, that increases the risk even further.

 3.  Chemicals

Another workplace hazard you should protect is chemicals. Be sure your employees understand what chemicals they might find in the workplace and how to dispose of them properly. Chemical handling mistakes are a common reason for chemical-related illnesses. Chemicals could be anything from liquids and gases to the fumes, dust, solids or vapors. Ingesting, absorbing in the skin and inhaling the fumes may all be hazards.

 4.  Electrical Hazards

This is a workplace hazard that most employees don’t notice until it causes an injury or fire in the building. Electrical hazards could be from liquids near electrical outlets, malfunctioning power strips, extension cords coming into contact with water or fraying cords.

 

5.   Back Injury

 

Lifting heavy objects or doing lifting and bending over repetitively throughout the day can also cause injury to your employees. Even when using the proper lifting form, such as keeping the back straight and not bending over to pick up the items, a back injury could occur. This is reason for employees to practice caution.

 

6.  Hazardous Materials

 

There are also hazardous materials aside from chemicals that could cause illness to your employees. This includes toxic waste and hazardous materials that may cause skin infection, burn, respiratory disease, cause an explosion and fire or even blindness. As with chemicals, be sure employees wear protective gear and practice caution when around any type of hazardous material.

 

7.  Workplace Violence

 

Lastly, there is workplace violence which is hazard, which is more common than you might think. The BLS estimates workplace violence as 17 percent of all occupational deaths. This could be from spouses coming into the workplace and being violent, former employees who come back for some sort of revenge or altercation, or simply violence between co-workers when things get too heated. Have good security and keep a close eye on people visiting your company.

 

Even with the right precautions, these workplace hazards exist. Be sure to have business insurance like workers compensation insurance to protect your employees and company from potential work-related injury or illness.

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