The modern workplace has always been an integral part of the average American’s life. Which is all the more reason one should be aware of the risks and potential hazards inherent within said workplace. Although every work environment will have unique challenges, here are some of the most common that you should keep an eye out for.
Beyond the kinds of careers where physical risk is obvious (construction, roofing, underwater welding, etc.) there still can be problems within the realm of a seemingly harmless career. The problem is that typically dangerous jobs have many safety practices and protocols in place, whereas your average office gig may or may not. Being sedentary at a desk for eight hours a day for months or years on end can take its toll! Problems with your back, neck, or hips are the most common. Regular exercise or using a standing desk in your cubicle are two ways you can prevent hazards like these. At the end of the day, pay attention to the safety protocols that your workplace has in place.
Some work environments may deal with chemicals – even if it’s just a fire extinguisher. If there are chemicals used in your workplace, they should be properly labeled. This shouldn’t just include a name of a chemical, but also one or several symbols that will explain the risks involved with its use. You should be trained to know what those symbols mean and how to react to them in the case of an emergency. If you have not been trained, there are many resources online that you can use to learn about individual chemical hazards and how to best combat them. Be aware of the resources that can be used in an emergency (i.e. water that can be used to soothe chemical burns) that your workplace has on hand.
In this day and age, more than ever before, the modern problem of mental health seems to be skyrocketing. Many workplaces, unfortunately, can exacerbate such problems – with their high standard of work and pressure to compete, with bosses who seem to lack understanding, and a company that treats their employees as expendable. The employee’s work itself can even induce mental health problems, if it involves hours upon hours of repeated, menial activity, or deals with psychologically harmful material on a regular basis.
If any of the above apply to you or your workplace, try to find out what resources are available to employees. That might include further training or insurance-related benefits. Seek professional help if needed. The first step to prevention is, after all, being aware.
Check out this article on why people have a hard time doing things for their health!