Workplace risks, especially those that aren’t obvious, or the result of hidden hazards take time to result in poor health, injury, or death. They are mostly ignored since they don’t pose an immediate risk. It’s important to check on regularly these devious dangers.
It is observed that ‘lone workers’ are more vulnerable to hidden hazards than staff who work as part of a crew, and that they face the following special risks.
Stored Energy: Stored energy is electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, thermal, or chemical energy stored in machines and equipment. Failure to control stored energy accounts for nearly 10% of serious accidents.
Posture And Repetitive Strain: working in the same position every day, particularly in poor posture, can result in back pain, repetitive strain conditions, soreness, varicose veins, and more.
Emotional Trauma: Workplace bullying and harassment can result in reduced morale, falling productivity, increased turnover, and increased risk of self-harm.
Workplace Violence: violence such as bullying, harassment, physical assault, shootings is the third leading cause of workplace fatalities for workers.
Fatigue: According to a survey, 57% of employers have experienced absenteeism. Another 32% reported injures and near-misses because of employee fatigue.
‘A general opinion’ is those workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses happen because of workers’ mistakes and negligence. However, when employers look at an individual incident more closely, it becomes clear that multiple underlying factors play a role in accidents in the workplace. For example, though there are the guards on the machinery, there may be hidden hazards around it, such as dust, fumes, particles in the air, or possible flying objects
In training “THE ICEBERG METAPHOR” is used to explain hidden hazards. The top of the iceberg represents the direct cause of the injury, the “what happened”. Other factors that contributed to the incident are represented by the part of the iceberg below the surface of the water or the underlying causes. . They can lead to further injury, lost productivity, and other serious physical and mental problems.
When mistakes happen, it is important to ask what and why. The best way to prevent injuries is by identifying and then fixing the policies, procedures, and conditions that contribute to them.
To identify the hidden hazards, it is important to ask questions such as:
- Are work processes designed properly?
- Is the equipment well maintained?
- Are operating procedures adequate and obvious?
- Are work policies realistic?
- Are the workers properly trained?
“INVISIBLE” SAFETY RISKS FOR HIDDEN HAZARDS AT EVERY WORKPLACE
- Poor work area set up, poor air quality, high/low temperature, etc.
- Poor ventilation. Working in a too-cool or too-hot environment.
- Second-hand smoke.
- Loose carpet.
- Slick floors.
- Loose steps.
- Poor housekeeping.
- Left out Clutter, trash, tools.
- Fumes, exhaust, toxic fumes, chemicals, cleaning products, pesticides, toners, office products – may cause allergic reactions, or other health-related problems if used without proper PPEs.
- Poor lighting
- Poorly stacked materials in the storeroom.
- Windowless doors.
Individual Worker Or Workforce:
- inexperience, inadequate training, fatigue, stress, or problems with communication
- Too long staring at Computer screens.
- Frequent motions of the same organ can cause carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, or tendonitis.
- Consumption of drugs/alcohol, abuse by co-workers can cause serious problems for all workers.
- Being bullied or harassed.
- In high-traffic areas, persons can have serious collisions by not watching for someone coming from the other side.
Job Tasks And Procedures:
- inadequate safety program,
- Improper planning of work procedure.
- Faults in safety policies.
- Untrained safety personals.
Management And Organization:
- lack of resources,
- poor communication
- Absence of a system for reporting problems
- Lack of involvement by management
HOW TO UNCOVER HIDDEN HAZARDS IN THE WORKPLACE?
We don’t need to be health and safety experts to uncover an extensive risk assessment that prevents our workers.
Check chemical data sheets and manufacturer’s instructions
These explicitly explain the risks associated with handling and using the products.
Ask your employees
They might point out particular risks that you weren’t aware of.
Check accident records
Accidents are often repeated. Taking a look at past incidents to identify hazardously
Think about the unscheduled tasks
Sometimes workers need to carry out tasks that are non-routine or unplanned, and yet need to be completed immediately. Lack of experience may cause harm.
Think long term
Study and search measures for long-term hazards to health, such as back injuries, exposure to noise, or exposure to high levels of chemicals.
When a worker suffers an injury or illness, it not only impacts the injured worker but also his or her family, co-workers, the employer, and society. Safety programs for hidden hazards are useful in helping to safeguard from these issues, with the object of preventing injuries and illnesses, and fatalities.
To broaden your understanding around the health and safety topic, join us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.keneducation.in or call on +917569034271