Due to the nature of their jobs, many workers face numerous hazards on a daily basis. Every employer must identify those hazards at their workplace to be prepared to eliminate them and prevent any potential accidents or injuries. If hazardous activities are part of the daily operations, employers need to be proactive in identifying those specific hazards. Here are the six most common types of hazards in the workplace:
1. Safety Hazards
Safety hazards can affect any worker, but these are more likely to affect those who work with heavy machinery or on a construction site. These hazards include slips, trips, and falls, electrical hazards, and operating dangerous machinery. Employees that work in the utility sector are more prone to the risk of safety hazards.
2. Biological Hazards
These types of hazards are extremely dangerous. They include exposure to hazardous substances and diseases associated with working among people, animals, or infectious plant materials. Those who work in laboratories, hospitals, and other outdoor occupations are at a greater risk of biological hazards.
3. Physical Hazards
Physical hazards affect those employees who work in extreme weather conditions or harmful environments. Employees exposed to constant loud noise, radiation, ultraviolet, and sun rays are at a greater risk of physical hazards. These hazards most commonly affect employees who work outside in the sun for long periods.
4. Ergonomic Hazards
Ergonomic hazards affect those employees whose work puts a strain on their bodies. Such manual roles like lifting or sitting for long periods can cause substantial damage over time. Ergonomic hazards may not be noticeable at first which makes them much harder to detect. If employees use improperly adjusted workstations or have bad posture when performing manual roles and heavy lifting, they may be at risk of injury.
5. Chemical Hazards
These hazards mainly threaten workers whose roles expose them to dangerous solvents, liquids, or flammable gases. Employees who are most likely to be affected are those working in cleaning facilities and engineers and workers in field-based roles. Exposure to harmful chemicals can cause skin irritation, breathing problems, illness, and, in extreme cases, death.
6. Workload Hazards
These hazards include issues that can cause stress or strain, such as workload, aggression, or violence. Workload hazards can exist in every workplace. The important thing is that these hazards are quickly identified and mitigated to minimize the probability of an accident or injury occurring.
Hazard identification is a process used to assess the potential of a specific environment or activity to inflict harm on an individual. If an employer neglects their responsibility to protect their employees, they could face financial and custodial penalties. Therefore it is crucial that they properly manage all of their workplace hazards.
If you want to take the next step toward conducting your hazard inspections, The Checker is here to help. All of our checklists are available as software or Checklist Books. Feel free to browse our checklist library to find the inspections you want.