While most professionals know that workplace injuries happen, not everyone realizes how common they are typical. Plus, it’s easy to ignore all of the potential hazards in an environment if you aren’t aware of the threat they may pose.
Ultimately, keeping an eye out for potential dangers is essential. By doing so, you can reduce your odds of injury and ensure the safety of your colleagues, too. With that in mind, here are a few potential dangers present in practically any work environment.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Risks
Slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of workplace injuries. Puddles on the floor, cords lying across walkways, unsteady ladders, and more can all lead to accidents, particularly if you aren’t aware of the hazard, causing you to not take the right precautions.
As you move through your workplace, look out for any potential slip or trip risks. If you see items impeding in walkways, standing water, or anything else, address the situation immediately by removing, cleaning up, or marking the hazard. Also, alert a supervisor of the issue, ensuring they can take any needed steps on their end.
Cleaners, Chemicals, and Hazardous Materials
Hazardous materials present a clear risk to your safety and potentially your life. Some are dangerous if they get on your skin or in your eyes. Others release hazardous fumes that can cause significant damage if inhaled or used in a poorly ventilated area.
If you need to use a possibly dangerous substance, make sure you take a moment to educate yourself on the hazardous material before you begin. Additionally, don any appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, or face masks.
Heavy Machinery and Mechanical Equipment
Heavy machinery and mechanical equipment can be dangerous even if they’re in proper working order. There may be pinch or crush points, for example. Additionally, depending on how the heavy machinery or equipment moves, there could be strike risks.
With heavy machinery and mechanical equipment, it’s crucial to follow all set procedures for safe operation. Don’t pin back guards or ignore lock-out/tag-out processes, including when addressing what may seem like a simple jam. Be aware of any moving equipment around you, including machinery operated by others. Additionally, if you’re driving machinery, be vigilant about your movement to ensure you don’t harm others.
Colleagues and Visitors
While many professionals and visitors don’t intend to create any new risks in a work environment, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. If a coworker is rushing, they may be more careless than usual, making them a potential source of danger. Visitors may not realize what is and isn’t safe in an unfamiliar environment, causing them to make missteps that put employees at risk.
It’s crucial to be aware of others in your workplace at all times. Additionally, if you see someone acting in an unsafe manner, speak up. In the end, that could make the difference, ensuring no one is injured by someone else’s mistake.
Ultimately, all of the risks above are present within workplaces. Since that’s the case, it’s wise to keep them in mind while working, allowing you to avoid hazards and ensure your well-being.
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