Health hazards at work: what you need to know

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By AdFeatures | Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 17:14


Considering that we can spend as much as 128 months of our lives in a working environment, it is hardly surprising that the number of work-related injuries which are sustained every year are somewhat high. Statistics concerning work injuries over the past few years have even noticed a rise in fatalities in certain industries, with the number of deaths recorded in water/sewerage/recycling more than doubling in 2011.

Part of the problem surrounding this situation is the number of risks which are posed within the working world. No matter what industry you are employed within there are numerous points where danger can present itself. Insufficient knowledge on how to identify and address these risks as well as worker distraction can intensify risks, creating a breeding ground for potential accidents.

Identifying risks

For anyone concerned about the risks they face in their workplace, the first thing they must do is identify the different areas where danger might be presented. For the year 2010/2011, almost half (40%) of workplace accidents were caused by tripping, slipping or falling. These are accidents which can occur in virtually all environments and are therefore the most common form of accidents at work.

Always pay attention to your surroundings and ensure that you check the safety of the area you are in before starting any task. Dangers, such as spilt liquids, loose packaging and other unfastened materials should be highlighted as potential risks: always ensure adequate warning is provided for these dangers through the use of appropriate signage.

Remember that whilst it is your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment and offer sufficient training, it is your duty to listen to this advice. Always follow the safety procedures demonstrated in your training and never put yourself at unnecessary risk whilst working.

Taking adequate precautions

The best way to deal with accidents in the workplace is to prevent them wherever possible. This means following the advice above and sticking to any health and safety guidelines which are in place.

It is also important that you highlight any areas which need improvement to your employer. If you believe you have been asked to work in an environment which is unsafe then voice these concerns. Discussing health and safety matters with your employer could help to identify risks that had previously gone unnoticed; thus improving the safety for both you and your colleagues.

Dealing with accidents

In the event that you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident at work, it is vital that you know what to do. Reporting the incident should be top of the agenda, as should receiving medical treatment. This should be done even if no obvious injuries are immediately present.

Speaking to experts such as Edwards Hoyle about your entitlement to claim compensation is also recommended. This is your right as an injured party and can be beneficial for you and others. Claiming for compensation helps to recompense you for your suffering and any loss of earnings you may have encountered whilst also highlighting areas for improvement within your workplace. This can lead to the adoption of stronger health and safety initiatives, making the environment safer for you and all other employees.



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