Some safety hazards are obvious. You know that operating a deli slicer or a machine press comes with some degree of personal risk. However, especially if you keep the same job for many years, it is easy to start overlooking some of the most serious hazards on the job.
Some risks will seem less concerning because you’ve successfully avoided getting hurt for years, while others will not even seem like a reason for worry. When you know the different hazards that are most associated with on the job injuries and fatalities, you can remind yourself when you need to pay closer attention at work for your own well-being.
What are some of the most common hidden hazards in modern work environments?
Whether you are a bookseller who has to climb a ladder to access the top shelf or you are a construction worker helping replace a roof, working in an elevation means the risk of falling. There is also always the possibility of someone at a slightly higher elevation dropping something on you and injuring you if there are multiple people at the work site.
The temporary electrical supply at construction sites or large festivals are both a fire risk and a tripping hazard. Power cords at retail businesses and similar facilities are also dangerous because workers can end up tripping over them or hurt when plugging them in or removing them.
Motor vehicle collisions while at work are a leading cause of worker injuries and deaths. Smaller vehicles not operated on the road, like forklifts, are also another major source of risk. Cluttered spaces, improper lockout procedures, chemicals and confined spaces are also among the top risks in modern job environments.
The good news for injured workers is that their right to benefits does not depend on fault or on whether they could have avoided the risk factor that caused their injury. The protection provided by Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation insurance program does not consider fault. Workers simply need medical evidence or company records connecting their condition to their work.
Being able to recognize the hazards that endanger your safety at your place of employment can help you be more proactive about protecting yourself or about claiming workers’ compensation if you do get hurt.