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Addressing Common Workplace Dangers

Some jobs are more dangerous than others. While the nature of the work certainly has something to do with the likelihood of injury, there are certain hazards that can and should be managed by employers. Well-known safety hazards require higher levels of care in terms of safety equipment and training. Employers and employees looking to minimize the risk of an accident should be aware of the common hazards that contribute to workplace injuries.

The National Safety Council conducts onsite safety management assessments designed to identify areas where a particular facility can improve its operations. The results of these safety audits tell employers just where they need to focus to prevent injuries and maintain a healthy workforce. These audits have also helped the NSC determine the areas where many employers fall short. The NSC recently highlighted seven problem areas affecting workplace safety. 

The following list contains hazards that are frequently seen at facilities where injuries have occurred:

  • People working at height
  • Cluttered workspaces/lack of sanitation
  • Improper use of extension cords
  • Forklift operations
  • Failure to control hazardous energy with lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures
  • Insufficient control systems for chemicals
  • Work in confined spaces

There are obviously many hazards not included on the NSC list. Every workplace is unique and presents its own challenges to keeping workers healthy. Employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace, even in unusual conditions. That said, employers have ample reason and opportunity to assess and eliminate risks that are common to many workplaces. If you have been injured at work, you should act quickly to protect your right to full workers' compensation benefits. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your situation.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine, "7 common workplace safety hazards," by Kyle W. Morrison, 22 May 2016 

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