Keeping a safe workplace needs employers to pick out hazardous and risky issues and take necessary steps to reduce their chance of occurrences. Each industry has its own set of hazards, but there are workplace hazards that are general across organizations. The hazards in this module are examples of usual hazards.
By recognizing and predicting hazards, employers can protect employees from injuries and hazards and keep them safe. The terms Hazard and Risk are frequently used mutually but this simple example explains the difference between the two.
Computer workstations may seem non-dangerous, but monotonous movement injuries such as repetitive stress injury and muscular skeletal problems are general due to badly engineered workstations.
Workstations need to be structured so that the body remains in a safe, impartial position and injuries are curtailed. These elements include: desks, monitors, keyboards, chairs, mouse, telephones, document holders, and wrist pads. There should be sufficient room in the workstation to move around and take short breaks from boring tasks.
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency of people in their workplaces. Certain often unnoticed workplace situations may lead to both short-term and long-term illness. These happen when the type of work, body positions and working conditions put a stress on your body.
Ergonomics are the toughest to spot since you don’t always directly notice the struggle on your body or the harm that these hazards pose. Short-term display may result in “sore muscles” the next day or in the days following the exposure, but long term display can result in serious long-term illness.
Ergonomic Hazards result due to the following reasons −
Fire safety is everyone's accountability. Fire presents remarkable risk or threat to the survival of businesses. It can kill or seriously injure employees or visitors and can damage or destroy buildings, equipment and stock.
Organizations working from single premises are especially endangered as loss of premises may completely damage their operations. Many businesses fail to continue trading following an acute fire.
Fire can have devastating effect on businesses. The destructive power of fire can only be controlled and checked. Even after putting in place stringent fire safety measures, organizations sometimes fall victim to fire at workplaces causing a great loss to property and human lives.
Every stakeholder of an organization or a company like its employer, the management, the employees, the visitors, the customers and the general public must be aware of the potential threats of fire on the premises. The employer or the management has to bear the responsibility for making provisions of fire safety and activate awareness programs for the knowledge of all concerned.
The potential threats from Fire can be common occurrences in an organization that −
Stocks combustible materials like cotton, paper, plastics etc. including flammable liquids or gases
Uses heat methods and lacks sufficient extinguishers placed throughout the workplace
Has public entry, so the organization is at risk from arson
Has very poor housekeeping standards
Has poorly preserved equipment, poorly maintained machinery, or electrical circuits
The following steps are essential to deal with the menace of Fire −
Ensure all measures to reduce or prevent the chances of fire accidents from occurring
Regular carrying out of fire risk assessment
Immediate actions to eliminate risk factors after the assessment
Safeguard the workplace by putting fire extinguishers at every possible location in and around the premises
Remove inflammable waste daily, including build-up of dust
Notify the fire precautions for the knowledge of all concerned to safeguard anyone using the workplace
Provide information, instruction and proper training to employees about the fire precautions at workplaces