Workplace safety hazards can come in different forms. These hazards exist and can potentially harm employees, regardless of the kind of working environment they are in. Since most people spend the majority of their time at work, it is important to keep these hazards at bay.
There are many ways to keep a workplace safe, and one of them is awareness. When members of an organization are fully aware of the dangers and their consequences, perilous situations can be better avoided. Here are some common workplace safety hazards everyone should know.
Safety Hazards in the Workplace
1- Coworkers Under the Influence
Alcohol and drugs can cause a lot of trouble in the workplace. Coworkers who work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can make poor judgments and have limited muscular control. They are also prone to hurting their other coworkers and make a mess in the office.
Many companies take extra precautions, especially with employees who use drugs. Although marijuana is legal in some states, random drug tests are done to keep employees in check. In the same way, responsible marijuana users prepare for these tests by checking their THC levels and cleansing their bodies of THC.
2- Bullies and Violent Employees
Bullying is a problem not only among schoolchildren but also in the workplace. Most bullies are those in higher positions. These bullies demean their subordinates, and later, this behavior may result in an increased turnover rate.
In the same way, violent coworkers are also a cause of panic and fear among employees. Organizations have to make sure there are no violent episodes and that everyone is taken care of. Bullies and violent coworkers must be dealt with as objectively as possible as well.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
3- Pest Mismanagement
Pests and other insects are always there; it’s just a matter of controlling them. Offices do regular pest control to make sure no health issues arise from the presence of vermin. It is an organization’s duty to ensure that all its employees are not in jeopardy because of roaches, bugs, and ants.
4- Exposed Electrical Wiring
Exposed electrical wiring can easily electrocute someone, which is why it is important to have all machines and computers in check. Exposed electrical wiring poses harm not only of electrocution but also to fire. Spills on live wires can easily spark a fire.
5- Mislabeled or Unlabeled Equipment
This one seems really simple yet is a common work hazard. When equipment is mislabeled, employees are more likely to use it improperly. Most of the common accidents are because of employees not knowing how to use certain equipment.
Making sure that employees know how to properly use their equipment can save an organization a fair amount of trouble and avoid accidents altogether.
6- Too Much Stress
Too much stress in the workplace is definitely a hazard. This one can be avoided by creating a culture of balance. Overworked employees tend to become stressed out, and in turn, other aspects of their health may fail. Leaders of organizations must encourage employees to take breaks every once in a while and to nurture their mental, physical, and spiritual health as well.
7- Poorly Constructed and Poorly Designed Office
When it comes to the design of an office, even the little details, like lighting, matter. An office that is poorly designed can stimulate an unhealthy environment for the employees. Not to mention, if the office is constructed from below-par materials, it may crumble during natural calamities.
8- Lack of Safety Training
Safety training and awareness are a good way to ensure the security of workers. There are natural hazards that are best handled when employees are fully aware of how to attend to the situation.
Earthquakes, for example, are unpredictable. They can strike at any moment. That being the case, it is best to have workers go through a drill that teaches them what to do during an earthquake. The same goes for fire and terrorist attacks.
9- Blocked Fire Exits and Lack of Safety Equipment
Every building is required to have fire exits, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. All these are set up to ensure that there are no casualties in case of fire. It is mandated by law; however, some offices don’t pay much attention to these.
Some fire exits are too small or are blocked by something, and some fire extinguishers and alarms don’t even work. Maintaining such equipment, along with facilitating safety training, will better improve workplace security.
10- Failure to Comply with Health Standards
The US Department of Health requires organizations to keep their offices sanitary. This is a requirement not only for restaurants and hotels but for all establishments. Keeping a clean workplace helps with pest control and in making sure the employees are not exposed to diseases.
If these workplace safety hazards are attended to and are properly managed, organizations will have a more secure workplace for their employees. Everyone has a job. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that these hazards won’t cause any more trouble. Prevention is always better than cure even when it comes to safeguarding a workplace.