Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace

occupational hazards types

What is Occupational health?

 

Currently, there are 3 billion working people around the world, employed in diverse sectors and working environments. An individual’s occupation is not only a mere source of an income and an extension of his/her career. On an average, each working employee spends almost

50% of his/her waking hours in the workplace. This implies that the kind of environment we end up working in has a huge influence on our overall health and well-being.

Occupational health, thus, encompasses a multidisciplinary entity that focuses on the health (both physical and mental) of workers employed in different sectors.

A work environment which is rife with risk factors that adversely affect your health contributes to occupational hazards and diseases.

Health risk at work could be spawned by a number of toxic and hazardous entities – toxic gases and chemicals, harmful radiation, extreme temperatures, deadly pathogens, unhealthy level of noise, ergonomic hazards, and even psychosocial factors such as work-related stress which could the shape of anxiety and depressive disorders.

 

What could possibly go wrong at your workplace?

 

  • sources of occupational hazards

    In the USA, 40% of all occupational hazards are related to transportation and motor accidents.

 

  • The first diagnosis of an occupational disease occurred way back in 1775. The disease was Chimney Sweep Carcinoma; a type of fatal skin cancer localized around the scrotum. It was commonly observed among the people who cleaned soot-filled chimneys.

 

  • Additionally, prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber and silica dust could lead to severe asbestosis and silicosis.

 

  • Not to mention, these are the deadliest occupational diseases ever recorded. Marked by acute respiratory malfunction, these conditions are more prevalent among the industrial workers of middle and low-income countries.

 

  • Also, contact dermatitis and eczema are the most common skin diseases contracted at workplaces. The occupations which are at highest risk of such skin conditions are construction workers, hairdressers, catering, healthcare professionals, and metal machine workers.

 

  • NIHL or Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is one of the most preventable yet commonly occurring occupational disease. The onset of this condition happens as a result of chronic, long-term exposure to extreme environmental noise. This usually affects military personnel, commercial jet pilots, mining, manufacturing, and transportation.

 

  • In 1974, Herbert Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” which referred to a series of undesirable symptoms such as recurring headaches, sleep deprivation, aggressive demeanor, irritability, and depression. This is what completely defines work-related stress.

 

  • Likewise, healthcare professionals are exceedingly exposed to pathogens and toxic entities from patients and hospitals on a daily basis. They are at highest risk of contracting blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis. Veterinarians are highly likely to contract zoonotic diseases.

 

  • Furthermore, toxic chemical inhalation could lead to irreversible brain damage. Benzene and formaldehyde are extremely neurotoxic and leading causing agents of brain cancer.

 

Occupational Hazards: Protection Policies

 

In order to protect workers and employees from toxic and lethal occupational elements, a system has been devised to systematically control and reduce the onset of diseases and hazards.

Popularly known as the “Hierarchy of Hazard Controls”, this concept takes into the sequential application of these-

Elimination of the hazard-causing agent.

Substituting it with less or zero harm-causing agent.

Engineering the controls to isolate workers from exposure to hazard.

Administering proper work schedule, policies, and warnings to keep workers safe.

Use of protective equipment and gear at work.

 

 

 

Similarly, long-term plans of safeguarding workers from toxic work environment focus on implementing and maintaining occupational hygiene.The following are the critical elements followed by this module.

 

  • Setting standards for exposure limits.

 

  • Making a regular assessment of workplace exposure.

 

  • Regular health surveillance of employees.

 

  • Understanding the relationship between work exposure and health of individual employees.

 

  • Designing better equipment to reduce harmful exposure.

 

Visible and invisible dangers at work

 

Biological hazards (Biohazards)

 

risk of biohazard

There are three different routes how pathogens could enter our bodies – respiration, transmission through bodily fluids, or contact with germ-containing items.

As a matter of fact,biological occupational hazards cause allergies, infections, or poisoning. Influenza is the most commonly spread biohazard.

Outdoor workers face the risk of getting bitten by insects, reptiles, or arachnids. Certain toxic plants could also cause instant allergic reactions.

Farmers, forest-workers, gardeners, health-care professionals are exposed to a diverse range of biohazard-causing elements.

 

If you think you might be at a risk of getting exposed to such factors, try including the following protective measures at your workplace.

 

  • Wear surgical masks to protect against air-borne toxins and respiratory droplets.

 

  • Some professions require workers to wear particulate respirators.

 

  • Moreover, the mask or protective gear used should be well-fitting, no loose or open ends.

 

  • Regular cleaning of air-conditioning systems. The microbes within enclosed rooms and halls tend to circulate through air-conditioning.

 

  • Carpets, walls, potted plants, curtains – these are the breeding grounds for pathogens. Make sure these are regularly cleaned.

 

Chemical hazards

 

Industries, agriculture, and transport – these are the major sectors consuming (and expelling) copious amounts of chemicals.

Excessive burning of fossil fuels releases a considerable quantity of noxious fumes and particulate matter into the atmosphere. Moreover, every individual who is exposed to toxic chemicals (in form of liquid, particles, or fumes) is at the risk of experiencing a chemical occupational hazard.

The aftermath of such exposure could be immediate and acute or prolonged and chronic.Pesticides, heavy metals, neurotoxins, and carcinogens have toxic manifestations.

Silica dust, welding by-products, particulate carbon, and automotive exhaust are increasingly deteriorating our cardiovascular health.

Even everyday cleaning products such as disinfectants, chlorine bleach, toilet cleaners and similar items rank high in the toxicity scale. Hence, in order to remain safe against the onslaught of such toxic elements remember…

 

  • Have a safe method of eliminating and disposing of toxic chemical waste. Follow labels carefully on how to dispose of different types of chemicals.

 

  • Likewise, ensure that the working area has appropriate ventilation so that air-borne particles don’t keep circulating within enclosed chambers.

 

  • Similarly,toxic chemicals should be labeled properly. Only those who are completely aware of the safety proceedings should be allowed to handle those.

 

  • Practice proper personal hygiene after coming into contact with such hazardous substances.

 

  • Ensure that there are no leaks or blockade in chemical containers. Wear protective gear as directed by the safety policies.

 

Physical hazards

 

Any occupational entity that could render physical harm and damage to a worker (with or without physical contact) is categorized as a physical hazard.

These are mainly caused by a release of energy in the form of noise, vibration, pressure, or temperature.

Harmful ionizing radiations and radiations emitted from radioactive substances are also grouped within this category.

As a matter of fact,the most common physical hazard is caused by noise. Either a prolonged and continuous one or a sudden high decibel booming sound that could potentially disable hearing.

Extreme temperature ranges, be it highly heated broilers or sub-zero temperatures of cryogenic labs – both create unfavorable working conditions.

Likewise, physical damage could also be caused by sudden explosions, highly flammable materials, highly-pressurized gas, and certain corrosive metals. Not to mention, radioactive exposure can bring cellular level damage and lethal genetic mutations.

It is, thus, important to follow these protective measures when dealing with such elements at work.

 

  • Most of the physical injuries at work are caused by workers slipping and falling down. Wearing anti-slip footwear should be the first priority. Hence, it is also important to clean up after spills, have strong ladders, proper lighting, neatly arranged wires, and an overall organized workstation/floor to avoid such mishaps.

 

  • Similarly, electrical tools and equipment should be properly insulated. There should be proper access to fire extinguishers.

 

  • Not to mention, the noise level should be lower than 80 decibels (if continuous) and 135 decibels (if sudden).

 

  • Additionally, it is important to have a favorable temperature at your workstation, especially if you are involved in heavy physical work.

 

  • Similarly, proper protective gear should be worn if the job entails working with lasers, radioactive radiations, microwaves, electromagnetic fields, and UV radiation.

 

Psychosocial hazard

 

The word psychosocial occupational hazard immediately conjures up the ideas of occupational stress and anxiety.

Though this category of hazard does include the adverse effects of stress and anxiety, a psychosocial hazard is not just limited to that.

Additionally, work-life stressors can degrade mental well-being and make people more susceptible to a violent and aggressive behavior.
Additionally, they also lead to the onset of several chronic ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Bullying, threats, and even sexual harassment is counted as a part of psychosocial hazard. In order to prevent your professional sphere from becoming a source of unending mental fatigue, try incorporating these techniques…

 

  • Provide workers a clear picture of what their job responsibilities entail. Have clear lines of communication. As a matter of fact, role ambiguity and role conflict create major work stressors.

 

  • Likewise, job instability, stagnation, and uncertainty can drive people anxious. Make sure these issues are dealt in a clear and supportive manner.

 

  • Additionally, have reasonable working hours and allow some level of flexibility in work life.

 

  • Not to mention, gain feedback from employees and try to find out what might be stressing them. Nurture healthy interpersonal relationships at work.

 

  • Also,make sure that the employees feel safe at work. Deal with abuse and harassment complaints with strictness and justice.

 


TL;DR?

 

occupational hazard infographic

 

 

Display this infographic on your website

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
green tea benefits
Green Tea : Does it really aid weight loss and reverse aging? A centuries-old concoction of fresh green leaves, green tea holds the secret to healthy weight…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more…
Hate making breakfast?Fast and healthy breakfast recipes just for you! Tired of snatching a bagel every morning for breakfast during the rush hour? Here are…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Fructose: Healthy fruit-product or loaded with toxic calories? Fructose is a sugar derived from fruits and other plant sources. Does this mean that…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
global warming health
Rising mercury and your health: How Global Warming is damaging your body Don't ignore the rising temperature. Global warming causes more than just heat strokes. It could…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
Bulletproof coffee recipe
Bulletproof Coffee – Breakfast of champions or yet another health fad? Can this special ketogenic coffee really make your body race as fast as a bullet?

Related Posts