7 Most Common Workplace Safety Hazards
The most common Workplace Safety Hazards are described below
- Working at Height
Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that falls to a lower level accounted for 14 percent of all fatalities in 2014, and OSHA standards related to scaffolding and ladders are regularly among the most frequently cited violations. Employers need to identify all locations where fall protection is necessary – as well as where the engineered anchor points are – and train employees and regularly audit the fall protection program, she said.
- Poor House Keeping
Clutter blocking fire exits, aisles and emergency exits is a housekeeping problem. Another common hazard? Over-stacking loads on racks in a warehouse that bring them too close to a sprinkler head, which can limit the sprinkler’s efficiency in an emergency. Clutter, leaks or standing water also can contribute to slips, trips and falls.
- Electrical-Extension Cords
Many electrical hazards spotted are related to inappropriate use of extension cords. Using multiple extension cords or power strips for a device – “daisy-chaining” is very dangerous. Although extension cords can be useful for temporarily supplying power for certain operations, the key word is “temporarily.” When a cord is used for several weeks or months, this opens the door for accidents and violations.
A leading cause of forklift-related hazards in the workplace is when workers feel compelled to work quickly. Workers under pressure to get the job done tend to take short cuts and taking short cuts leads to accidents. The end result may be hitting a rack, damaging a wall or product, or even injuring a co-worker. Compounding these problems is a lack of maintenance and daily checks of equipment
Proper lockout/tagout procedures can help prevent serious injuries, but only if those procedures are followed. Violation of lockout/tagout procedures often boils down to three reasons:
- rush to finish the work
- Being unfamiliar with the equipment
Employers need to train employees on lockout/tagout and ensure they’re qualified to carry out the procedures.
When an organization purchases and uses chemicals, it needs to have a control system. A company needs to know what the chemicals are for and why they were ordered. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires facilities to keep an inventory of all products. Another potential hazard is transferring chemicals from one container to another. Even if employees feel comfortable around the chemicals and have worked with them for years, the containers must be labeled as required under the hazcom standard.
- Confined Spaces
Tragedies involving confined spaces have occurred because an employer didn’t issue a permit or failed to carry out a risk assessment. Accessing drains with out a permit and proper training can lead to injury.
Focus on Prevention
The seven hazards presented are by no means an exhaustive list – many other hazards may exist at your worksite, and spotting them requires vigilance. To help identify workplace hazards contact us today and schedule an evaluation and training class.
Workers won’t inherently know they have to do something a certain way. Your organizationor company should train employees on safety protocols. Know the purpose of the training, and ensure the appropriate training is given for each individual worker based on his or her needs. After the training, monitor and supervise the workers to check whether they’re applying it appropriately.