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Workplace hazards

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Part 1- The Office

One of the topics we have yet to explore is the issue of safety in the workplace. We’ve all heard of workers being electrocuted, hands being stuck in machines or coworkers even tripping on a mat at the office. Over the next two weeks, we will begin to look at ways to exist in safe work zones whether it’s an office or a factory.{{more}} This week, Paul Jones from Manchester, England, addresses office safety.

In any office, the workforce is subjected to many different kinds of hazards and threats of different natures. The particular kinds of hazards that you may face depend upon the kind of work done in the office. However, there are some general hazards that may prevail in offices if enough preventivemeasures are not taken.

Some of the areas of the work environment that require special attention include chemical hazards, workstation design, equipment, task design, and chemical or environmental hazards, if applicable. Other than these, there are also hazards associated with the physical environment which may include the space in general, ventilation, temperature, light, and other such factors. Apart from that, there are also psychological factors associated with personal interactions, job control, performance, and the work place.

The electrical equipment that is operational in the working environment also poses some threat and hazard to the people handling the equipment. There are chances of electric shock and burn injuries, electrical shorts and fire, or even electrocution. In order to prevent electrical accidents from occurring, it is essential for the equipment to be inspected on a regular basis, and moreover, any equipment that is defective in any way should be reported and replaced immediately.

The comfort level of the employees at workplace during working hours should be given special consideration when designing workstations. Failure in doing so can result in the employees going through musculoskeletal disorders (injuries that affect the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments commonly from overuse over time).

Another potential safety hazard that may occur in workstations is the height at which storage spaces and shelves are located. This can cause people to fall or even trip and break a bone. In order to prevent this from happening,the most recommended option is to place these spaces at safe heights. However, if there is need for a high storage space, then the person who is to deal with the task should be provided enough training in dealing with the height and taking precautionary measures.

A health hazard may occur in workplace in the form of indoor air pollutants. These can be the cause of respiratory ailments. In order to avoid this, the air conditioning system should be cleaned properly, and the appliances and machines that give out exhausts should be placed in locations where there is enough ventilation.

The noise in the workplace can also pose some problems resulting in stress and tension, thereby being a threat to the psychological health of a person. The first step to prevent this can be by having quiet equipment in the workplace and maintaining good decorum and silence.

A well designed and hazard free office is one which offers complete comfort to the employees during work, without them having to over reach or use awkward posture or having the need to stand or sit for long times. In order to make the office environment comfortable and hazard free, these are just some of the hazards to be mindful of.

Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group, Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103

A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!

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