Many workplace hazards are immediately apparent: power tools, heavy machinery, toxic chemicals and other risks. However, other risks may go unnoticed in a workplace. What hidden workplace hazards should you be aware of?
1. Sedentary work
While many might think that workers who do not perform heavy lifting, work with machinery or engage in other potentially dangerous tasks would not face risk in the workplace. However, sedentary occupations can contribute to repetitive stress injuries in the hands or even increase a person’s risk of heart disease and cancer.
2. Noise exposure
Loud sounds may not be visible, but they can still create workplace hazards. Sounds above 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss over time. Workplaces with loud noises can include construction sites and factories where hearing protection is common, but other settings like commercial kitchens may also involve sounds loud enough to damage hearing.
A comfortable temperature helps workers stay at their best, but more extreme temperatures can put those same workers in danger. Issues with heating or cooling systems in a building can create risk of hypothermia or heat-related illness.
4. Safety training
While you cannot see at a glance which workers have had appropriate safety training, training can still be a key part of keeping a workplace safe. Workers may need training to properly operate machinery or handle hazardous chemicals. They may also benefit from training regarding lifting technique, ergonomics and other details that can prevent other injuries.
Even with precautions, these and other workplace hazards can lead to injury or work-related health conditions. For employees who experience a work-related injury, workers’ compensation can provide support.