5 common workplace hazards

23-Feb-2017 12:48 PM


Hazards at the workplace mean problems not only for the injured employees but for the entire organisation. Even so, accidents take place in every workplace due to mismanagement, lack of proper training, carelessness and other factors. An employer should conduct a proper assessment of the workplace to set right any safety risks or blind spots lurking in. Knowing about the common hazards is the first step towards taking guard against them. For instance, organizing a boom lift course for your workers can go a long way to avoid mishaps during any aerial work. Here are 5 common workplace hazards you should know about.

1. Chemical hazards

Exposure to harmful chemicals is a common cause of workplace injury or illness. Not knowing the uses of different chemicals can lead to serious hazards. And hazardous chemicals need not be explosive peroxide – they can be as common as cleaning products, solvents, gasoline and other flammable materials. Even spray paint cans are potentially explosive. Transferring chemicals can be dangerous. To eliminate the risk of chemical hazards, label all such material carefully. Maintain an inventory mentioning the expiry dates of all such material. Train employees to recognise the signs of chemical exposure and conducting proper first aid.

 2. Confined spaces hazards

This type of hazard often takes place when operations are carried out at a confined place, without carrying out proper risk assessment. Enclosed spaces may include silos, chambers, tanks, drains, sewers and many other locations. If you are conducting welding work, painting or flame-cutting in such spaces, your workers are at high risk of getting injured. Lack of oxygen is another trigger for hazards in confined spaces. Make sure that your workers have undergone a forklift course in Singapore before using electrical forklifts in confined spaces.

3. Aerial lift hazards

These are hazards that take place mostly when workers take shortcuts to increase production. These could take place even when workers have undergone a forklift course. Shortcuts could include driving with excess load or continuously getting distracted, which could hurt co-workers as well. Hazards include tip-overs, falling from a height, entanglements, and contact with ceilings, walls or racks. Get your workers to undergo a boom lift course for boom lifts. Finally, never operate with unsafe forklifts. Check whether the forklift you're choosing can work in poorly ventilated areas or in flammable environment.

4. Ergonomic hazards

Accidents can also get triggered when certain types of work and working conditions put a strain on workers' bodies. Often, the strain is difficult to recognize and hence the degree of harm they pose is unknown. Soreness is caused in the short-term, but ergonomic hazards can take place if this strain compounds over a long period of time. Be warned against;

  • Frequent heavy lifting
  • Poorly adjusted chairs and workstations
  • Bad posture
  • Vibration
  • Having to use too much force for certain tasks

5. Biological hazards

These can be caused by risks posed by factors from the biosphere, including mould, sewage, harmful plants, bird droppings and airborne pathogens. Biological hazards can also be brought on if infected workers come in contact with other workers. Conduct regular cleaning and pest control. Executing proper administrative control is important: provide proper sick leave and limit exposure around biologically hazardous areas. To eliminate the risk of serious threats like Influenza and Hepatitis, conduct frequent immunization.