Industrial Hygiene: 5 Ways Your Employer Should Be Protecting You
Companies have insurance that protects their buildings, money, products, and services. However, is your employer doing all that they can to protect their employees as well? After all, you are their most valuable asset, and in today’s digital, fast-paced world. Industrial hygiene helps to prevent injury and illness for employees while on the job. To ensure that your employees are providing you with the best protection, we have come up with a list of things to look for. Below are five ways your employer should be protecting you.
1. Noise Levels
Employees are exposed to piercing noise levels can experience hearing problems and, in some cases, hearing loss. The facility you are working in should be designed to minimize noise overall. Simple adjustments, like many separate employees from noisy equipment, as much as possible, will greatly reduce this risk. In addition, enforcing the mandatory use of earplugs and sound-reducing headphones proves that a company is aware of the noise factor and its effect on their employees.
Ergonomics studies people while they are at their workplace. Finally, the goal of this research is to find ways to reduce stress while encouraging employees to exhibit caution and care at work. Bad posture, conducting tasks on a constant repetitive basis, and the overuse of muscles can often lead to long term injuries for employees. This has challenged employers to supply ergonomic work stations. Simply upgrading a chair or limiting the time spent on certain tasks can greatly reduce the instances of injuries, thus creating a happier workforce.
3. Indoor Air Quality
The quality of the air we breathe is an obvious health concern for most employers. This can be impacted by pollution inside and outside of the building, dust, and debris in the air and odors or gasses that are being secreted from various machines. Illnesses such as chronic coughs or nausea, as well as severe headaches, have been linked to poor air quality. Thus, an employer should provide proper ventilation in areas where these types of pollutants can occur. In addition, HVAC and air filtering systems should be in top working condition in order to remove potentially harmful contaminants in the air.
4. Proper Education and Training
Prior to performing any work tasks that could be potentially dangerous or hazardous, OSHA training is required for each employee. This training provides important education for workers and managers regarding workplace hazards. It also outlines controls that can be put into place to ensure the safety and productivity of each employee that is working in those conditions. OSHA training provides company employees at every level with a better understanding of the hazards and regulations that are associated with employee well-being. This training allows the company and its team members to contribute to the development and implementation of all safety requirements and guidelines.
5. Exposure to Chemicals
Hazards regarding chemicals can be in the form of liquid, gas, or dust that employees can absorb, ingest, or inhale. These chemicals can be extremely harmful in some cases, and the utmost care should be taken when interacting with chemicals at any level. Proper ventilation, using gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, and washing hands regularly should all be standard protocol for employees. This care should be paid even more so for those employees who are doing maintenance on equipment or handling chemicals in lab-type settings.
6. Biological Hazards
Living organisms that may be present within the workplace can also pose a threat to an employee’s health. Fungal growths, infections, and microorganisms can accumulate and have a tremendously negative effect on a person’s body. Those employees that are in regular contact with plants and animals or other human beings may be sick, like doctors or nurses. We should take extra precautions throughout their workday. Employers that are protecting their employees will encourage the practice of good personal hygiene and washing hands regularly. In addition to wearing gloves and other protective equipment. In extreme cases, employers should also be focused on isolating and exterminating the hazard altogether when it is possible.
Protecting their employees should be a top priority for employers, no matter what the nature of their business is. Identifying and then eliminating or controlling any potential hazards should be something that your company is taking the time to do on a regular basis. Providing appropriate training, enforcing the use of protective equipment, implementing processes and procedures for safe use of chemicals and equipment; as well as having open communication between employees and management staff about these conditions are simple measures that can be taken by any company. These acts will promote the understanding of industrial hygiene while enabling a healthier and more productive work environment.