Employers are required to identify potential workplace hazards and to take reasonable steps to protect employees from harm in various ways. Each workplace has unique risks that must be identified, and this adds to the challenge that you face when trying to determine the hazards in your own workplace. More than that, many employees work in unique off-site environments that immerse them in different conditions on a regular basis. Therefore, you often must anticipate the many different types of risks that they could potentially face. Nonetheless, you can identify many potential risks and hazards that could injure your team members by focusing on a few important areas.
Injuries From Equipment and Machines
In many work environments, employees work with various types of equipment and machines. In an office environment, this may be a heavy-duty paper cutter. In a warehouse, it may be a forklift or another similar type of machine. Regardless of how large or small the equipment or machines are, your employees should be properly trained on their proper use. More than that, management should always observe employees to ensure that they are using the machines properly. You should also be aware that some injuries may be the result of improperly maintained equipment and machines. For example, a computer cord in an office environment may be frayed. This can result in a fire or an electrical shock.
Risks Associated With Dangerous Workplace Conditions
According to personal injury lawyer Richard Morse, “Most accidents and injuries occur away from our homes, on our way to and from work and activities, at work itself, or during the course of an activity.” One of the more common dangers that many people face at some point is a wet or slick area that could result in a slip and fall accident. In an office environment, this may be a wet spot on a recently mopped floor. In a warehouse, the area may be slick from oil or grease. Other workplace hazards are related to falling from an elevated height, being struck by machinery and more.
Injuries Caused By a Lack of Safety Equipment
In many workplaces, employers are required to provide their employees with a minimum amount of safety equipment. For example, hardhats may need to be worn in a warehouse or construction zone. In some workplaces, employers do not provide quality equipment or maintain the equipment in qualify condition. There is also a problem with some employees not using the equipment provided properly in some workplaces. Employers must actively research workplace safety equipment requirements and new equipment available. More than that, management must regularly monitor employees to ensure that they are using the equipment properly and regularly.
Risks Associated With Fire Danger
Fires in workplaces are unfortunately rather common. Some fires are caused by faulty electrical wiring or shorts. Others are caused by oil and grease issues or by numerous other hazardous chemicals. Employers must be aware of all of the possible fire dangers in the workplace. In addition, they should train employees how to identify and mitigate hazards. All employees should be aware of the location of fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment. If your facility is at high risk of a fire, such as if your team regularly works with flammable chemicals, hosting regular fire drills are also important.
These are only some of the many hazards and risks that may affect workplaces as well as steps that you can take to mitigate risks that you identify. Because each workplace is unique, employees must regularly review their premises and activities for hazards and risks. For any risks and hazards that are identified, proper steps must be made to reduce risks as well as to protect employees as much as reasonably possible. Remember that you may face liability issues if you fail to take reasonable steps to provide your team with a safe work environment on a regular basis.