Employers are responsible for the safety of their employees; in the event that an employee is injured on the job, the employer is liable and may have to provide compensation to the employee. However, most workplace hazards are easily avoidable and employers would benefit from preventing hazards from occurring in the first place rather than having to deal with the consequences later. Here are some of the most common workplace hazards and the steps that can be taken to prevent them.
Employees may get electrocuted if they come in contract with live wires, directly or indirectly. An electrocution from a voltage of over 50 volts AC is considered dangerous and electrocution can lead to serious injury or even death.
Preventive measures include maintaining all electrical installations, having workers wear electricity-resistant clothes and footwear and ensuring damaged sections of cable are replaced.
Electrical hazards can at times lead to fires. Fires are another common hazard that can have widespread impacts on the business; not only can fires bring harm to employees but can also destroy valuable stock and other property of the business. Therefore, businesses must take fire prevention very seriously.
Steps for fire prevention involve certain obvious measures such as installing fire alarms and fire extinguishers. However, it is not enough to simply put these measures in place and then forget about them for years. The business must ensure that its fire alarms and extinguishers are in working condition and can be relied upon in an emergency. Fire extinguishers, in particular, require periodic testing and inspections if they are to continue functioning properly. Fire protection companies provide fire extinguisher service and other such services to help a business ensure that their fire prevention measures are in working order.
Another common cause of workplace injury is when employees trip, fall or slip due to slippery floors, insufficient lighting, or any variety of reasons. Preventive measures include providing employees with slip resistant footwear, making sure equipment and items are put back where they belong and maintaining sufficient levels of lighting.
Ergonomic hazards occur due to the repetition of an activity that causes strain to the body and possibly resulting in injuries. Ergonomic principles of how such injuries can be prevented should be identified and incorporated into the work practices of the business. Other preventive measures involve allowing employees to engage in a variety of tasks and allowing employees to take work breaks.
Working in Confined Spaces
Working in cramped spaces such as vats, pits, sewers, drains, and or poorly ventilated rooms increase the risk of injury to those working within them. In order to prevent injuries in this regard, the business should try and minimize the use of confined spaces to perform jobs. If it is absolutely necessary that the job be performed in a confined space, then employees engaging in such jobs should be given comprehensive safety training.