Your work environment may present potential health and safety risks, which can vary greatly depending on your industry and type of work.
No matter the job or working environment, it’s vital for all employers to undertake a detailed risk assessment of a working environment to fully understand what could potentially cause harm in the workplace.
It’s important that employers recognize a problem, understand how to manage it and ensure solutions are put in place. What are the common risks at work? Keep reading for more details and information on what risks to be aware of…
Asbestos-related illness and fatalities are one of the largest causes of ill health in the workplace. If you work with asbestos and believe you have been exposed to it in the past, then it’s likely you are at risk of illness.
Asbestos can cause many health problems including respiratory issues and cancers such as lung, ovarian, or mesothelium cancer (which is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure).
If you are showing symptoms of asbestos exposure, then you should consult a doctor. If you believe your workplace did not follow correct procedures, you may want to research your options – you could call an asbestos lawyer for more information.
Accidents in the workplace
Working at heights as well as slip, trips and falls are the most common form of accidents or injuries in the workplace. These can vary from small trips to serious falls but each case should be noted by an employer and kept on record for future reference.
Employers should look at past accidents and use this information to introduce effective solutions to prevent any future accidents. Lifting loads is often a common cause of injury, resulting in strains such as RSI (repetitive strain injury).
These types of injuries can be short-lived but if not dealt with correctly can cause long-lasting issues. Most cases can be avoided if correct training is provided and lifting equipment is available where necessary.
Working in an office environment
Working with computers and other kinds of technology can increase the risk or eye strain, back pains and general RSI problems. They can be due to poor design of workstations, lack of space or insufficient equipment (such as chairs).
Working for long hours with a screen may cause users to suffer from temporary eye strain or stress which can be painful and worrying.
Workers can be often be at risk of exposure to hazardous substances, dust and bacteria in the workplace. These can either be inhaled, ingested or damage can be made through contact with the skin or eyes. If exposure is not prevented or correctly managed, this can result in serious injury or illness.
It’s therefore crucial that these environments are properly controlled and protective equipment is provided.
Other risks at work
Excessive noise levels at work can accumulate over many years and eventually lead to hearing loss. Electrical risks are often caused by poorly maintained applications, which can result in fire, injury to others or even death. Work equipment should always be regularly monitored and maintained.
Often serious accidents occur when equipment is out of date or not working properly, or the operator hasn’t been correctly trained.
Following guidance, procedures and training employees correctly are effective ways to prevent accidents in the workplace.