Workplace safety is a common term but has valuable impression in case of occupational health and safety of any organization. Workplace safety issues generally remains in every workplace. But major concern is how effectively those hazards are being managed by the organization. Commonly observed workplace safety issues or workplace hazards are as below-
- Chemical Hazards
- Biological Hazards
- Ergonomic Hazards
- Physical Hazards
- Safety Hazards.
Workplace Safety Issues or Workplace Hazards in Detail
Generally, chemicals are classified into 2 categories- hazardous and non-hazardous. Hazardous chemicals are mostly harmful for human body and natural environment. Chemicals may be liquid, semi-liquid, gaseous or in powder form. But if chemicals are not managed properly then lot of problems may arise for the employees who directly handle chemicals. Some common health problems are- skin irritation, breathing problems, asthma etc.
Some precautions or measures should be taken for proper management of chemical substances which are as below-
- Chemicals should be stored with proper Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), Label, Safety Sign and Compatibility Chart.
- Sufficient safety equipment like emergency response kit and fire prevention materials should be available in place.
- All chemical users should be properly trained regarding storing and handling of chemical substances.
- Periodical mock drill should be conducted as well.
Biological workplace hazards are well known as biohazards. Biological substances that could herm to human are biological hazards such as- bacteria and viruses, mold, insect bites, plants, birds dropping, body fluid etc. Biological hazards can cause death or they may cause discomfort and affect the health and performance of employees at the very least. We have to be vigilant in preventing and controlling biological hazards in order to make work environment safer and healthier. Use of personal protective equipment is the common and useful way to safeguard your employees from biological hazards.
Ergonomic hazards are harmful to human body which have both short term and long- term effect. Common short-term exposure of ergonomic hazard is “sore muscles”. But the long-term or extended exposure of ergonomic hazards can cause serious health hazard. Some common ergonomic hazards are-
- Poor posture
- Frequent lifting
- Awkward movement
- Improper workstation etc.
Physical hazards are known as environmental hazards or occupational hazards which include radiation hazard, high exposure to sunlight, vibration hazard, heat, noise hazards etc. Physical hazards occurred in contact with some circumstances or factors.
Safety hazards are common workplace issues. Some commonly observed workplace health and safety issues or workplace safety issues are as below-
Confined Space: Confined space is a major workplace safety issue or workplace hazard which is potential to create high category risk. Most of the time, confined space remains outside of risk assessment. Because, compliance personnel or risk assessor didn’t go for in-depth risk analysis of confined space, only few safety measures are taken in place. As a result, overall atmosphere of the confined spaces remains unknown. So, critical incidents occurred when employees entered into the confined space without knowing the risk and taking necessary precautions. In order to ensure health and safety in the workplace, organization should take immediate action to conduct effective risk assessment of confined spaces, circulate the risk to the employees and ensuring of safety precautions around confined space as well.
Poor Housekeeping: Poor housekeeping may be the obstacle for clutter free workplace. Many kinds of health hazards found in the workplace only due to poor housekeeping like aisles blockage, improper storing of goods, slippery floor etc.
Work at Height: It’s a workplace safety issue and need proper management to avoid any unwanted things like falling from ladders or heights.
Electrical safety and related hazard: Poor electrical installation or faulty electric appliances can cause serious injury or health hazard. Even death may happen for this. Burn injury also may happen due to electric shock. Improper wiring may cause workplace hazard which should be addressed properly.
Machine safety and related hazard: Moving machine parts are the major source of machine hazard. Due to improper management of moving machine parts, it can cause serious health hazard like cutting of hand or even death in case of large machine.
Building safety and related hazard: This is one of the workplace health and safety issues which need to be corrected immediately after the findings. Otherwise major health hazard may happen.
Fire Safety and related hazard: Common workplace safety issues related to fire safety are- storing of combustible materials, aisles blockage, exit without directional sign, exit sign without proper illumination, insufficient emergency team etc.
Slippery Floor: This is one of the workplace safety issues related to poor housekeeping also. Necessary mats should be used to avoid any occurrence due to slippery floor.
Waste Materials Management: Different kinds of wastages are generated due to production activity of the industry. But unfortunately, waste management strategy is very poor in most of the cases. Sometimes, wastages are burn in open air or though out to river and canals. This kind of activity causes huge environmental damage.
A safe and healthy workplace can ensure sustainability in business. Above workplace safety issues are the burden for business growth and sustainability. So, quick preventive measures need to be taken by considering the importance of workplace safety issues. Management should form SOP for managing above issues and circulate it. So that every employee can follow the actual guidelines in order to ensure business sustainability.