Workplace Hazzards - Houston Workplace Accident Lawyer

Identifying Workplace Hazards: Top 6 Dangers You Need to Be Aware of

Aug 30, 2023 | Industrial Accident, Slip and Fall, Workplace Accident

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Being aware of potential hazards in the workplace is crucial for maintaining a safe and secure environment. Unfortunately, accidents can still occur, leading to injuries, medical expenses, and potential legal issues. Walker Texas Lawyer, a trusted personal injury attorney, is here to help if you’ve experienced a workplace accident. This article will discuss the top six hazards to be mindful of in the workplace and why it’s essential to call Walker Texas Lawyer for workplace accidents.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slippery floors, obstructed walkways, and improper storage can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. These incidents are among the most common workplace hazards and can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, concussions, or back injuries.

Falls are generally classified into two categories – falls at the same level and falls to a lower level. Construction sites and maritime industries are at greater risk than others. Falls to a lower level are the leading cause of death for construction workers.

Many conditions can lead to falls, such as slippery surfaces, improper use of ladders, uneven or unstable walking surfaces, floor openings, and poor housekeeping. Other causes include:

  • Debris in the work area
  • Failure to use harnesses and attachments when working at heights
  • Insufficient railings
  • Obstructions
  • Pooled water
  • Spilled liquids
  • Traction between work areas
  • Unsecured flooring materials
  • Uncovered cables or wires
  • Uneven steps or stairways

To prevent many fall accidents, companies should have regular safety inspections, perform repairs on potential fall hazards immediately, and maintain strict cleaning schedules. Employees should observe all safety protocols and warn others about risks.

Hazardous Substance Exposure

Hazardous substances present a variety of health risks. Some chemicals are safer than others, but common substances like cleaning products can lead to illness, skin irritation, or respiratory problems. Exposure can come from solids, fumes, liquids, vapors, gases, dust, or corrosives.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hazardous chemicals must be maintained in a specific manner.  Otherwise, workers can experience nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Long-term exposure can lead to lung and kidney disorders. If these chemicals are not maintained safely, the company may be liable.

Companies must train employees in safety rules to avoid chemical exposure and require them to use protective gear. Workers can’t just ask their employers if they can avoid using hazardous substances or substitute something less dangerous since these items are often required for daily work. Companies should also store chemicals properly in an isolated area with a separate ventilation system.

Falling Objects

Falling objects significant workplace hazard that can cause severe injuries and sometimes fatalities. These accidents can occur in various industries, including construction sites, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities, where large and heavy objects are stored at height. When an object falls from a considerable height, it can generate a significant amount of force. These force can cause severe damage to anything or anyone in its path. A falling object can strike an employee’s head, neck, back, or any other body part, causing injuries ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures and head traumas that can lead to lifelong disabilities.

The risk of falling objects can be minimized by taking proactive measures, including establishing safety protocols, providing proper safety measures, and ensuring workers receive adequate training on handling objects and machinery. Employers must ensure employees have access to the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). This is equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, and work boots. Futhermore, regular workplace inspections, securing objects when not used, and keeping work areas clean, can also help prevent falling objects. By recognizing and addressing the hazards related to falling objects, employers can create a safe work environment that protects employees from the risks associated with workplace hazzards.

Machinery Accidents

Workplace machinery accidents are a significant concern and can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. These accidents can occur due to various factors, including improper use of machinery, lack of training, equipment malfunction, or inadequate maintenance. Accidents involving machinery can lead to severe injuries, such as crushed limbs, severed fingers, burns, or head trauma.

Preventing machinery accidents requires employers to prioritize safety measures. This includes providing thorough training on the proper operation and maintenance of equipment, ensuring employees use the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), conducting regular safety inspections, and addressing any equipment malfunctions promptly. Employers should also develop and enforce strict safety protocols, including lockout/tagout procedures for maintenance activities and maintaining clear communication channels to address any safety concerns.

By implementing these measures, employers can reduce the risk of machinery accidents and create a safer work environment for their employees.

Ergonomic Hazards

Ergonomic injuries are also known as repetitive stress injuries. These injuries (RSIs) are a common hazard in many workplaces that involve repetitive motion, such as typing, assembly line work, or using a mouse. Over time, repeated stress on the same muscles and tendons can lead to inflammation, pain, and other symptoms. These issues can impact an employee’s quality of life and productivity. RSIs can occur in various parts of the body, including the hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, and back.

Preventing RSIs involves a combination of proper training, ergonomic workstations, and taking regular breaks. Employers can reduce the risk of RSIs by providing employees with ergonomic chairs and desks and the necessary equipment to reduce strain on the body, such as wrist rests for keyboards and adjustable monitors. Regular breaks and stretching exercises can also help alleviate muscle pressure and prevent repetitive strain injuries. Employers can create a healthier and more productive workplace environment that benefits everyone by prioritizing employee health and safety.

Fires In The Workplace

Fires in the workplace pose a significant threat to the safety of employees, property, and business operations. Ignition sources, flammable materials, and unsafe practices can all contribute to the risk of a fire breaking out. The consequences of a workplace fire can be devastating, causing injuries, fatalities, property damage, and interruptions to production.

Types Of Fires

Some workplaces are more prone to fire than others. For example, manufacturing and industrial environments often experience fires caused by:

  • Combustible substances: Many chemicals are combustible or flammable, posing risks from both exposure and fire. These materials must be stored in cool, dry locations to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Electrical wiring and equipment:  Sparks from overloaded outlets, exposed wiring, and heavy machinery can ignite surrounding materials and start a fire in any workplace. All employees must report risks and containing flames.
  • Flammable liquids and gasses: Workers in oil and gas exploration are at a high risk of fire due to the flammable substances they work with. Storage, containment, and fire suppression safety procedures must be strictly followed to protect workers’ lives.
  • Welding and other hot work: High temperatures and sparks may start fires when welding and soldering. Sparks can be as hot as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and ignite any surrounding materials that are flammable or combustible. Safety procedures must be taught and observed to prevent injury.

One of the primary dangers of workplace fires is the potential for injuries or loss of life. In the event of a fire, employees may suffer from burns, smoke inhalation, or trauma while attempting to escape or extinguish the flames. Furthermore, the presence of hazardous materials or chemicals in certain industries can exacerbate the risks and lead to more severe injuries.

Fire Safety Protocols

To mitigate the dangers of fires in the workplace, employers should prioritize fire safety measures. This includes implementing fire prevention strategies such as regular inspection and maintenance of electrical systems, proper storage and handling of flammable materials, and the installation of fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire suppression systems. Adequate training on fire safety procedures, evacuation plans, and the proper use of fire extinguishers is essential for all employees. By adopting these preventative measures, businesses can reduce the risk of workplace fires. Also, they will protect their employees, safeguard their assets, and maintain their operations.

Call Walker Texas Lawyer for Workplace Accidents

If you’ve experienced a workplace accident due to any of these hazards or other circumstances, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney like Walker Texas Lawyer. With extensive knowledge in workplace accident cases, Walker Texas Lawyer can provide expert guidance, protect your rights, and help you pursue rightful compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Recognizing and addressing workplace hazards is essential for maintaining a safe and secure work environment. Understanding the top six hazards, including slips and falls, hazardous substances, falling objects, machinery accidents, ergonomic hazards, and workplace violence, empowers employees and employers to take proactive measures to prevent accidents. Should you become a victim of a workplace accident, contact Walker Texas Lawyer. Hiring Walker for your personal injury case provides protection for your rights. Walker will make sure you have the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve.

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