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The Biggest Workplace Risks and Safety Hazards

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No matter the office dynamic, there are some workplace risks that employees face on an almost daily basis. If you’re the one in charge of securing the whole office and making sure that all the right security procedures are in place, you should definitely know these.

By knowing all the possible workplace risks that can happen, you can design a much better office security plan. You can also keep yourself and others around you safe, which is your top priority when you’re on the job.

Types of Risks

To help you understand all the risks that you might come across, we thought that we should divide them into categories. That way, if you’re in the midst of a crisis, it’ll be much easier to figure out what you should be doing.

Physical

So the first type of risk that we’re going to talk about is probably the most obvious one, and it’s to do with physical threats and hazards. You can prepare for some, and write out guidelines to avoid them, but some are totally inevitable.

For example, you can avoid having an uneven carpet that’s a potential tripping hazard. However, one of the biggest workplace risks is an extremely high/low temperature. If the workers spend a lot of time outside doing manual labor, they might not be able to avoid it.

Also, the risk of radiation is pretty high up on the list, which is why every office should have a Geiger counter. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward tool to use, but it can save people from long radiation exposure, which can be deadly.

Some other common physical risks in the office include:

  • Pressure changes
  • Noise pollution
  • Constant exposure to UV rays

Psychosocial

Psychosocial is a type of workplace risk that can be difficult to detect and protect against. It’s often tough to even spot it, and react on time, which might leave you just dealing with consequences.

But essentially, psychosocial risks are those that affect the mental health and wellbeing of employees.

The most common psychosocial trigger in any office is usually stress, and it has a really tough workaround. To try and lower this particular risk, you need to figure out all the things causing it, which is almost impossible. Also, that kind of responsibility usually falls either on management or the HR team.

Now, tackling stress is a topic for a whole different time, so let’s talk about some more manageable risks. For example, threats like sexual harassment, workplace violence, and victimization in the workplace are things that you can remedy.

The first thing you should know is that it all starts with prevention. Along with your managers, you can implement policies that would fix these issues. What’s more, you can stay vigilant for any suspicious workplace behavior, and nip it in the bud immediately.

workplace risks

Biological

It’s no secret that most offices are littered with garbage, dirt, and filth. Some of the most commonly used objects in the office like staplers, printers, and keyboards are breeding grounds for disease. They’re also the biggest biological workplace risks ever.

With that said, biological threats are all of those that can affect someone’s health. These include:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Insects
  • Animals
  • Mold
  • Dust

In theory, there’s not much you can do about biological risks, but in practice, you can make a difference. Again, by coordinating with management, you can come up with a detailed and strict cleaning schedule. You should come up with a list of rules that both the cleaning crew and all the employees should follow.

Also, as soon as you spot any sort of problem, you need to tackle it right away. If you see one cockroach or ant just strolling around the office, that probably means that there are a ton more. So don’t wait for the issue to get much worse, and call professionals for help right away.

Chemical

Now, chemical workplace risks are similar to the biological ones because they’re caused by external factors. The chemicals that employees are exposed to can be in liquid, solid, or gas form, and they can be more or less harmful. However, constant exposure to some of these can be a huge health hazard, and it’s something that you need to keep an eye on.

Some of the most common examples of chemical hazards include:

  • Fumes and vapors from solvents
  • Liquid cleaning products
  • Pesticides
  • Flammable materials
  • Harmful gasses

There are a ton of problems that any of these hazards can lead to, like skin and respiratory system irritation, blindness, and much more. As a security professional, it’s your job to prevent all these things from happening if possible. Make sure that employees are always wearing the proper gear, and that they’re correctly handling all the chemicals.

Doing a Proper Risk Assessment

Once you sign on to do corporate security, you need to understand how to do a detailed assessment of workplace risks. First, you have to observe and see what the potential threats are so you know how to protect others from them.

Then, you need to take care of the most important part of your job — training others. You’re the one who needs to show employees the best practices to keep themselves safe. Also, they need to understand how to always be aware of their environment, and who to turn to in case of an emergency.

Designing a security plan that’ll work for a specific workplace is one of the most challenging things you can do. So if you’re struggling, you can check out our article on the best workplace safety tips. They should help figure out where to start, and how much work you’ll need to do.

To Sum Up

Workplace risks are all around and they often seem unavoidable. However, with the right protocols and guidelines in place, there’s really no need for anyone to get hurt. And you’re the one person that can ensure that.

If you want to know more about security risks in the workplace (or out of it), sign up for our newsletter. We promise to only give you the tips, tricks, and tools that you’ll actually need in the EP industry.

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