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The Industrial Health Hazards You Should Be Most Concerned About

When you’re running an industrial workplace, whether it’s a construction site, a manufacturing plant, or otherwise, you have to be aware of the fact that you’re working in a space that has a much greater rate of injury than most. Here, we’re going to look at how you can make sure that you’re fully aware of as many of the different types of hazards as possible, and what you can do to reduce their impact on your workforce.

Chemical Hazards

A lot of industrial environments see your workers handling chemicals regularly. Exposure to harmful chemicals, including gases, vapours, solvents, and fumes, can cause respiratory issues, skin irritation, and long-term health problems such as cancer. Addressing the potential risk that chemicals could pose requires a multi-pronged approach, ensuring you have the right equipment for both storing and handling chemicals, as well as the appropriate training and signage to make your team more aware of those risks.

Mechanical Hazards

The greatest risk in the average industrial workplace is the machinery that keeps it running. Risks from machinery and equipment, such as moving parts, sharp edges, and pinch points, can cause severe injuries including cuts, amputations, and crushing injuries if proper safety measures are not in place. Regular maintenance, routine inspections, and appropriate training programs are vital for enhancing the safety of your industrial equipment.

Physical Hazards

There are a lot of moving parts in an industrial workplace, that can cause many different kinds of physical hazards. These can include noise, vibration, extreme temperatures, and radiation. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can result in hearing loss, while exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause thermal stress. Typically, the right PPE is enough to prevent injury from these sources, but you must be mindful of how you can reduce time spent in potentially harmful environments.

Biological Hazards

Contact with biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms can lead to infections, allergic reactions, and other health issues. This is particularly relevant in industries like healthcare, agriculture, and waste management. Industrial works on roads and tunnels can also present serious concerns about air quality, which can necessitate the installation of a tunnel fan. Appropriate ventilation is important in any workplace where potentially harmful particulates in the air might be a common concern.

Ergonomic Hazards

Poor workplace design can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Repetitive motions, awkward postures, and manual handling of heavy objects can cause injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and tendonitis. Aside from effective training on proper lifting forms, you should ensure that your workplace has access to the necessary lifting equipment, such as carts, pallets, and even back braces to support workers who have to carry heavier objects. You also want to be able to minimise the amount of time that any worker has to hold heavy objects by making storage spaces more easily accessible.

A comprehensive safety audit is the only way to make sure that you’re effectively clamping down on the risk of accident an injury in your industrial workplace. Hopefully, the tips above help with that.