Workplace safety refers to policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of employees within a workplace. It involves hazard identification and control according to government standards and ongoing safety training and education for employees.
CATEGORY OF HAZARDS IN THE WORKPLACE
Safety Hazards are unsafe working conditions that that can cause injury, illness and death. These are the most common workplace hazards. They include
- Anything that can cause spills or tripping such as cords running across the floor or ice
- Anything that can cause falls such as working from heights, including ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any raised work area
- Unguarded machinery and moving machinery parts that a worker can accidentally touch
- Electrical hazards like frayed cords, missing ground pins, improper wiring
- Confined spaces
Physical hazards can be any factors within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. They include:
- Radiation: including ionizing, non-ionizing (EMF’s, microwaves, radiowaves, etc.)
- High exposure to sunlight / ultraviolet rays
- Temperature extremes – hot and cold
- Constant loud noise
- This occurs when the type of work, body positions and working conditions put a strain on the body.
- They are the hardest to spot since you don’t always immediately notice the strain on your body or the harm that these hazards pose.
- Short-term exposure may result in “sore muscles” the next day or in the days following the exposure, but long term exposure can result in serious long-term illness.
- Improperly adjusted workstations and chairs
- Frequent lifting
- Poor posture
- Awkward movements, especially if they are repetitive
- Having to use too much force, especially if you have to do it frequently
WORK ORGANIZATION HAZARDS
These are hazards or stressors that cause stress (short term effects) and strain (long term effects). These are hazards associated with workplace issues such as workload, lack of control and/or respect, etc. Examples include:
- Workload demands
- Workplace violence
- Intensity and/or pace
- Respect (or lack thereof)
- Control or say about things
- Social support or relations
- Sexual harassment