We spend hours a day at work and it should be a safe enjoyable environment. Unfortunately thousands of people every year suffer from injury or illness and you could be at risk. Your employer is obliged by the law to protect your health but regrettably many don’t. You are able to make work claims if you are affected. Here we will discuss ways to preserve your health whilst at work.
When you hear about people suffering from Industrial Disease you think of workers in professions such as construction which are classed as physically demanding and dangerous. This isn’t the case, Industrial Disease covers all workers in all professions who’s health has been affected by their job.
Different workers are exposed to different dangers and thus may suffer from assorted injuries and illnesses. These will also vary in severity from minor to fatal. Many people are affected and don’t even know it or disregard their condition as just being part of the job.
Your employer is required by law to perform risk assessments to establish any possible hazards that you may face. From this you should be provided with training, protection and any other measure you require to keep you healthy and safe at work. Examples of this are;
- Hearing Protection. Many workers suffer from hearing loss due to noisy working environments. If you are exposed to sounds over 85dB(A) and are not provided with protection, you could develop noise induced hearing loss. This isn’t always easy to establish as it can occur slowly over time. If this has happened to you, you can make a hearing loss claim for compensation.
- Other forms of Protection. This can cover many areas from hard hats to gloves. The gloves could protect you from many things and will have to be different dependent on the job and the risk. Dermatitis is a condition that many workers suffer from and this can be caused by many substances even water. Other more serious conditions can be caused by lack of protection such as asbestosis from being exposed to asbestos.
- Set up of work area. The environment you work in has a direct affect on you and your well-being. This again will vary dependent on your job. The office is seemingly a safe and harmless place to work but if your workstation isn’t set up correctly you are at risk of multiple injuries. Sitting for long periods of time with the incorrect posture can cause back injury plus repetitive strain injury from typing. These both can be very painful but easily avoided by correct positioning at your desk.
- Reducing hand-held work. Many workers use their hands at work which puts their body at risk from being close to potential dangers. The less people come into direct contact with vibrating, heavy, loud and dangerous machinery or chemicals, gases and or airborne substances the less chance they have of them affecting their health. Wherever possible, tasks should be performed remotely to reduce exposure. If using these measures are unavoidable they should be kept to the bare minimum.
- Breaks. When you are working in any of the above situations you should be taking regular breaks. If you use your body in anyway for your job, it needs time to recuperate to avoid developing injury. This could be breaks from vibrating tools to prevent vibration white finger or breaks from noise to avoid hearing loss. The more you are exposed to hazards, the greater the chance you have of becoming injured or ill at work.
- Training. Every worker needs sufficient education to perform their work well and safely. This will differ dependent on your job but if you are not trained you are more at risk. To work in certain professions you need particular training to even take part such as asbestos removal. This is an extreme case but we all need levels of training. Other examples include lifting, use of protection, health & safety plus correct cleaning procedures.
I hope this has helped outline some of the areas that you maybe able to evaluate to help you stay safe and healthy at work. If you find that you are at risk of any of the hazards referenced above, mention it to your employers for them to apply measures to ensure you are as safe as possible. You should never be put under any unnecessary risk and if you are you have rights on your side.