Simply put, anything that can potentially threaten the wellbeing of an employee can be considered a hazard in the workplace. Where things get more complex, however, is when we consider the fact that hazards can be divided into either physical dangers or psychological dangers. Whether you run a small business or a large one, it is your responsibility to eliminate or, at the very least, minimise the number of hazards that your employees face on a day to day basis. The wellbeing and safety of your workforce is of the utmost importance, which is why it is the responsibility of managers to identify, monitor and rectify any potential hazards in their workplace to ensure no issues are missed.
Particularly in a scientific environment, some hazards can come from employees being exposed to harmful chemicals, radioactive materials and other potentially toxic substances that can threaten their physical health. In construction, exposure to asbestos was a particular problem until it was banned in 1989, for example. Appropriate training, signage and building maintenance can help to reduce the threat to workers.
Hazardous working conditions
In some jobs the way that a work space is laid out can have a profound impact on the safety implications of the role. Jobs that require heavy lifting can make for lifetime injuries if there are no proper procedures put into place. Similarly, workplaces with wet floors and high walkways can be especially hazardous and steps need to be taken to minimise the risk of potential accidents.
Even with jobs that require your employees to sit at a desk all day, there are always going to be some dangers and hazards. For example, repetitive motion injuries can be a significant problem and can lead to legal action if the injury is serious enough. Employees that work long hours with computers without breaks can also develop computer vision syndrome and spinal injuries. These types of injuries can be prevented by allowing employees regular breaks and investing in good quality furniture and equipment that is suitable for long hours of use.
Some businesses can present their workers with dangers that are more sinister than others. In healthcare, for example, workers are exposed to dangers such as diseases, viruses and medical waste, which can have a very detrimental effect on their overall health and wellbeing. Employees who work with dangerous animals can also be directly exposed to the threat of being bitten or stung.
Should any of your employees suffer an accident at work in spite of taking the proper precautions, then your employees will be able to complete an accidents at work claim. The claim can be used in any industry or sector and can be made on behalf of a past or present employer, which means that you can make a claim on any accident that happened within the last three years. As an employer, you can minimise the risk of there being an accident in your company by ensuring that you follow all of the proper safety guidelines and regulations required. It is also important that you have an employee accident log book to keep a detailed account of any accident that happens and make it a priority to ensure these incidents do not repeat themselves.