The office should be a relatively safe place for its workers. After all, nearly every part of the world has its own set of occupational safety and health standards in place. Unfortunately, what looks good on paper does not necessarily mean something that also happens in real life. In some cases, real-life incidents can be a lot scarier.
Categorizing Safety Hazards
Hazards in the workplace can be categorized into three – physical, chemical, and psychological hazards. Of the three, physical hazards are the most common ones. They could come in the form of slipping and falling as well as in getting electrocuted due to open wires or mislabelled high voltage cabinets. Companies providing a briefing on health and safety standards typically start with how to address this type of hazard. One of the common themes in this kind of training is the importance of labelling pathways, doorways, and items, among others. That is easily addressed by tapping companies in Singapore and other areas that provide label printing services.
Some companies might have excellent facilities that the risk for physical hazards is next to zero; however, they might have a different kind of danger – psychological hazard. This kind typically happens in businesses involved in the service industry. It generally puts the mental well-being of the employees at stake. If physical hazards meant risk for falling and other types of injury, psychological hazards meant a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and suicide. In the past, minimal effort has been made to address mental health in the workplace. Fortunately, in today’s world, more business owners are getting a good understanding of the importance of mental health.
Depending on the kind of industry you are in, you might also have to deal with chemical hazards. Although you might argue that these should also be under physical hazards, certain scenarios do not show any physical symptoms until it is too late. That was the case of Radium girls, where the female factory workers suffered from poisoning as they were painting the clock faces using luminous paint filled with radium. What happened was, they would press the paintbrush between their lips to get a fine tip. By doing so, they were transferring radium to their mouths and ingesting it later.
Safety Hazards are Preventable
About 95% of the time, hazards can be easily prevented. For example, if you need to work at a certain height, you need to make sure that you have safety harnesses in place. Aside from that, any ladder or platform that you use should be stable and checked thoroughly for any damage.
In the same line, if you are working near flammable items, you need to make sure that you have a good housekeeping system in place. It would mean that flammable materials should be stored in a safe place, far from anything that could cause it to ignite. They should also be clearly labelled, ensuring that everyone is aware of their flammability. At the same time, any fire safety equipment should be within reach, and sprinklers should be working correctly. There should also be a clear path to the fire exit, and circuit breakers are in place.
With these, not only do you prevent hazards but also accomplish the tasks you’re assigned to.