When it comes to preventing occupational health hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a big role. OSHA was established to create and regulate safety standards in the workplace. But even with these regulations in place, there are still thousands of workplace injuries each year. Workplace injuries range from minor incidents like ankle sprains, which about 25,000 Americans suffer from every day, to fatalities. This article is going to provide a brief overview of workplace injuries.
No matter what type of work people do, everyone is exposed to hazards every day. There are four main types of hazards workers and employers should keep an eye out for.
Biological hazards: These types of hazards are often found in occupations working with people, animals, or plants. Workers may experience exposure to blood, bodily fluids, insect or animal bites, and even dangerous bacteria or viruses.
Ergonomic hazards: These types of hazards occur when certain strains are placed on a worker's body. This can range from poor lighting or seating, incorrect lifting, and repetitive motion. Unfortunately, these hazards are not always identified until a worker notices the pain. Oftentimes, if ergonomic hazards go unnoticed for a long period of time, physical therapy options may be explored to help alleviate pain or discomfort.
Chemical hazards: These types of hazards can range from mild to severe. When workers are exposed to chemical substances, they may experience a variety of reactions. Common chemical hazards include cleaning solutions while more severe hazards may consist of vapors and fumes. If not protected properly, workers may suffer serious consequences from being exposed to these hazards.
Physical hazards: These types of hazards are common in all types of job positions. Even in a standard office setting, employees may experience trips, slips, or falls. In other job settings, workers may be exposed to loud noises, damaging vibrations, or even falls from high heights.
Because of the many different types of occupational health hazards, employers need to be mindful of the work environment they're exposing their employees to. Without proper precautions and regulations, employees could face serious injuries.
Fortunately, if an employee does suffer an injury, urgent medical care is available. After suffering a workplace injury or illness, it's important for employees to get the proper medical care they need to ensure they recover quickly and can get back to work.