Employees face numerous potential workplace hazards and threats daily. Employers are responsible for identifying and assessing potential hazards in the workplace and implementing controls to reduce or eliminate the risks (Sorensen et al., 2021). Employees also play a role in preventing accidents and injuries by being aware of the hazards in their work environment and following safe work practices. There should be set rules and regulations that help address workplace hazards and threats. Slips, trips and falls, manual handling injuries, chemical and electrical hazards, and work-related stress are common potential workplace hazards and threats.
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common hazards and threats in the workplace. They can occur anywhere at any time and can often result from carelessness or poor housekeeping. Slips usually occur when there is a change in the surface underfoot, such as from wet to dry or from smooth to uneven (Nasarwanji et al., 2021). Preventing slips, trips, and falls is often a matter of good housekeeping and common sense. Floors should be kept clean and dry, and any potential obstacles should be removed. In some cases, however, more specific measures may be needed. For example, anti-slip floor treatments can be used in areas with a risk of slipping, and barriers can be used to prevent trips and falls.
Manual handling injuries are one of the most common hazards and threats in the workplace. The hazards and threats can occur when workers lift, carry, or move heavy objects or perform other physical tasks. According to Milania & Prabaswari (2021), manual handling injuries can be very painful and often lead to time off work. In some cases, they can even be disabling. The first measure to prevent manual handling injuries is properly trained workers to lift, carry, and move heavy objects. They should also be aware of the risks of manual handling and how to avoid them. The other preventive measure is designing a workplace that minimizes the need for manual handling. For example, lifting devices can be used to move heavy objects, and workstations can be designed to reduce the amount of lifting and carrying that workers have to do. Workers should seek medical attention as soon as possible and follow their doctor’s instructions for care.
Chemical hazard is associated with a broad range of potential dangers that chemicals can pose. The hazards and threats include physical hazards such as flammability or corrosiveness and health hazards such as toxicity or carcinogenicity. Hague et al. (2021) stated that chemical hazards are a common type of hazard in the workplace and can pose a serious threat to workers’ safety and health. There are several ways in which workers can be exposed to chemical hazards. The most common is inhaling airborne chemicals, but exposure can also occur through skin contact or ingestion. The most effective way to control chemical hazards in the workplace is to eliminate the hazard at the source. Personal protective equipment (PPE) can also be used to protect workers from exposure to chemical hazards.
Electricity is a serious workplace hazard. Exposure to electricity can cause electrical shock, burns, fires, and explosions. Employees who work with or around electricity are at risk of being injured or killed if they do not take proper precautions (Das et al., 2021). Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment is one of the effective ways to control electrical hazards. The use of personal protective equipment may include the use of gloves, eye protection, and clothing that is made from non-conductive materials. Das et al. (2021) noted that the other measure is avoiding contact with electrical currents by keeping hands and feet away from electrical equipment and not touching electrical cables. Employees in any given organization should report electrical hazards such as damaged equipment or cables to a supervisor.
Work-related stress is another common hazard and threat in the workplace. Pousa & Lucca (2021) reported that stress could negatively impact employees’ health and well-being, leading to absenteeism, decreased productivity, and increased accidents and injuries. Several factors can contribute to work-related stress, including heavy workloads, long hours, tight deadlines, job insecurity, and poor working conditions. Stress can also be caused by interpersonal conflict, bullying, and harassment. There are several ways to prevent and manage work-related stress. These include providing employees with support and training, promoting healthy work-life balance, and improving communication and consultation between managers and employees. If you are experiencing work-related stress, it is essential to seek help from your employer, a doctor, or a counselor.
Conclusively, hazards and threats pose a danger and negatively affect the performance of employees. In most cases, the cost of preventing the occurrence of hazards and threats is lower than handling their effects. Workers’ safety and health are maintained by taking steps to avoid them and properly treating employees when hazards and threats do occur. Workers may need to take time off work to recover from their injuries when affected. Manual handling injuries are a severe hazard in the workplace
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