Hazards

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OSHA's 5 Workplace Hazards

Cultivating a workplace safety culture takes big picture thinking.

Preventing and removing workplace hazards is not only necessary for employee safety, it’s your legal responsibility under the Occupational Safety Health Act’s General Duty Clause requiring employers to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that may cause death or serious harm to their employees.

Understand and know the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) five types of workplace hazards and take steps to mitigate employee risk.

1. Safety Safety Hazards

Safety hazards encompass any type of substance, condition or object that can injure workers. In many types of workplaces they can include spills on floors, walkways blocked by cords or boxes, falls from heights, machinery with moving parts, confined spaces and electrical hazards such as frayed cords.

2. Chemical Chemical Hazards

Workers can be exposed to chemicals in liquids, gases, vapors, fumes and particulate materials. Chemical hazards include acids, pesticides, carbon monoxide,  flammable liquids, welding fumes, silica dust and fiberglass fibers.

3. Biological Biological Hazards

Employees who work with other people, with animals or with infectious materials can be exposed to biological hazards such as blood, fungi, mold, viruses and animal droppings. 

4. Physical Physical Hazards

A physical hazard can injure workers with or without contact. These types of hazards include radiation, working in extreme heat or cold, spending hours under the sun or being constantly exposed to loud noise.

5. Ergonomic Ergonomic Hazards

Ergonomic related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 33% of all employee injury and illness cases. These types of hazards occur when repetitive work, the type of work, or a certain position strains the body. These are the most difficult hazards to spot because problems build up over time.

Conclusion 

Minimizing or eliminating workplace hazards need not be time-consuming or even expensive. Being aware of possible hazards can increase productivity, prevent illness, reduce days off and save lives. And you can get started today!  

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Find even more information you can use to help make informed decisions about the regulatory issues you face in your workplace every day. View all Quick Tips Technical Resources at www.grainger.com/quicktips.

Think Safety. Think Grainger.®
Grainger has the products, services and resources to help keep employees safe and healthy while operating safer facilities. You’ll also find a network of safety resources that help you stay in compliance and protect employees from hazardous situations. Count on Grainger for lockout tagout, fall protection equipment, confined space products, safety signs, personal protective equipment (PPE), emergency response and so much more!

DISCLAIMER:The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This publication is not a substitute for review of the current applicable government regulations and standards specific to your location and business activity, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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