Workplace injuries present a serious threat to many people. Even if you believe you work in a relatively safe environment, you may only have this belief because you have not recognized potential risks at your worksite. Unfortunately, overlooking potential hazards or having an employer who does not provide proper safety equipment and training could result in a serious accident.
If you work in the construction industry or another occupation that often has considerable work-related risks, you may know that certain issues such as having to work high off the ground or with machinery could pose safety hazards. However, numerous other hazards may prove less obvious, though common.
Cleaning and organization
Some industries can prove particularly messy, and in the course of your daily work duties, you may find yourself and your co-workers contending with spills, clutter or other types of disorganization. While you may have gotten used to working in such an environment, these conditions could put you at risk of injury. Spills can easily result in slips and falls, and clutter and improper storage could lead to blocked doorways, fire hazards and the inability to easily access rooms, which may prove important during an emergency.
Confined areas can pose various hazards. If the space is unstable, a risk exists for collapse. If the atmosphere in the space contains fumes or other potentially harmful substances, workers could quickly face toxic exposure due to a lack of clean air. Many areas may need inspection or permits before entering, and workers may also need equipment used to detect harmful atmospheres. However, if not in working order, that equipment could put you at risk.
If your duties require you to come in contact with chemicals, proper use and handling of those substances may help ensure your safety. Even though you may follow the necessary procedures for carrying out your duties, if a problem exists with the chemicals themselves — such as having expired or not being the right chemicals for the job — you could end up with an unexpected chemical reaction that may cause you serious injury.
Your employer has a duty to you to ensure that proper safety measures are taken to avoid placing you and other workers at unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, you could still end up injured on the job. If so, you may face financial challenges during your time of recovery or even after, depending on the severity of your injuries. Therefore, you may want to gain information on workers’ compensation benefits and understand how they could help.