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Environmental hazards that can lead to workplace injuries

Environmental Hazards That Can Lead To Workplace Injuries

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Maintaining a safe workplace environment is important for both employers and employees. However, environmental hazards, which workers cannot always avoid, can pose risks that lead to injuries.

Understanding these hazards helps prevent accidents and ensures a safer workplace.

Slippery surfaces

The year 2022 saw 7,902 petitions for workers’ compensation assigned to judges in Pennsylvania. One common environmental hazard in the workplace is slippery surfaces. Spills, leaks, wet surfaces, rain, snow and ice can produce slippery surfaces.

Poor lighting

Insufficient lighting can also contribute to workplace injuries. Dimly lit areas make it difficult for workers to see potential hazards. Night workers, such as those in road construction and other outdoor work need adequate light to prevent injuries.

Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can pose health risks to workers. Heat stress, dehydration and frostbite are all potential dangers associated with extreme temperatures. Individuals who work outside, such as those in construction and landscaping, should have access to hydration stations, shade and shelter. They also need appropriate clothing for extreme weather conditions.

Noise pollution

Excessive noise in the workplace can lead to hearing loss and other health issues over time. Loud machinery, equipment or construction work can expose workers to harmful noise levels. Workers need appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of hearing damage.

Chemical exposure

Chemical hazards pose significant risks to workers’ health and safety. Exposure to toxic substances can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation and other serious health issues. Employees should receive training on proper chemical handling and safety and have adequate ventilation and personal protective equipment to minimize exposure risks.

To prevent workplace injuries, workers and employers need to conduct risk assessments and foster a culture of safety that welcomes worker reports of safety risks due to environmental factors.

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