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Common Hazards in the Workplace

Protecting Industrial Workers

Since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed, the number of workplace hazards as well as employee exposure to them has been significantly reduced. The result has been fewer accidents across all sectors of industry, affecting workers in all disciplines. Advances in safety equipment and the use of technological resources to reduce accident rates have made the American workplace much safer for workers today than it was generations ago.

Even so, more efforts need to be made to counter the hundreds of thousands of electrocutions, slip and fall accidents, chemical burns, scaffolding accidents, and injuries from falling objects, flying debris, and defective machinery that still occur every year. Many of these hazards result in serious workplace injuries in the American workplace.

What are the most common workplace hazards?

Some of the most common hazards that industrial employees face include:

  • Defective Equipment: Reluctance to invest in new and high quality machinery may cause employers to continue to provide defective, unsafe, and flawed equipment and machinery in the workplace. The industrial accidents that result from these hazards often involve amputations, crushing injuries, and other severe injuries.

  • Falling Objects: Anytime there is work activity overhead, workers below are at risk for injuries from falling objects. These are actually easy to prevent, but the statistics of workers who are injured, maimed, or killed because of falling objects in the workplace are still too high for comfort.

  • Flying Debris: Blamed for the inordinate number of eye injuries caused in the workplace each year, flying debris in the form of cement dust, wood chips and shaving, metal slivers, mineral dust, and other kinds of debris may not be completely avoidable, but the accidents that result from them are. High-quality personal protection gear, including face shields, safety glasses, and goggles can reduce the risks from these workplace hazards.

  • Toxic Exposure: Although OSHA regulations define permissible limits for the exposure of chemicals in the workplace and recommend protective personal gear that can prevent inhalation or ingestion in any form, too many workers are burned or suffer eye, face, and skin injuries because of toxic chemical exposure. The most significant impact of such exposure can appear over the long-term as deadly diseases develop.

  • Unsafe Machinery: Many pieces of machinery in an industrial environment may be dangerous or unsafe by their very nature, especially logging equipment, food slicers, meat grinders, and other machinery. However, that does not mean that accidents involving them cannot be prevented through adequate workplace safety training, proper use of protective safety gear, guarding of equipment, and proper supervision.

If you would like to learn more about workplace hazards and how it can affect your claim, contact Arnold & Itkin.

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