We recently published an article regarding how to perform a job hazard analysis in the workplace.  There are hazards everywhere, in the workplace, home, school, businesses, just about anywhere you happen to go in everyday life. 

Have you ever noticed something in a store  that shouldn’t be there?  While  checking out of the grocery store, I noticed there were wires everywhere, around the area that customers had to pay out and pick up their sacks to leave.  They were installing new computers, but there must have been another way to put those wires where customers were not at risk.

Another example, a small local chain discount store had become extremely unorganized.  Seems that several employees had quit, and there were not enough employees to stock incoming merchandise, until it got to the point that it became dangerous to even try to find what you were looking for.  The risk of falling over something in the aisles was  bad enough that persons quit going into the store.  The local fire marshall warned the store to get it straightened out in a certain amount of time, or he would be shutting the door because the business had become a fire hazard.  Bringing in employees from area stores to help get everything stocked and neat again resulted from his visit.

Depending on the type of work we do, there are hazards in most all places of employment.  Biological Hazards can be extremely dangerous if the right safety precautions are not taken.  This includes anything that can be passed from one person to another.  Contagious biological hazards are flu, hepatitis, or HIV.  Mold and chemicals are also biological hazards. 

Fire Hazards in the workplace are one of the major causes of lost work time.  Work may be shut down because of fire damage to the building.  Employees should conduct fire drills often, and be trained in fire safety: where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them.  Exit routes should be clearly posted and never blocked.  Lives can be lost in fires, so this is a very serious concern.

Electrical Hazards are dangerous both at work and at home.  Never overload an electrical socket or extension cord.  Check all cords to ensure there are no frays that could start a fire. 

Slips, Trips, and Falls.  These are hazards that could happen anywhere.  In the home, stairs should be well lighted, and both in the home and workplace, good housekeeping is a must.  Clutter or other things out of place can cause someone to trip over them.  Wiring from computers stretched out in the office are a cause of falls.  Trips and falls can result in sprained muscles or worst case scenario, broken bones.  Falls from high places are always a threat to those who must work on ladders or six feet or more off the ground.  This is when fall protection is required.

Lifting Improperly.  How many times have you been told to bend at the knees when lifting a heavy object, only to bend over and use your back?  If you think that the load is too much for you, ask for help.  Four hands work much better than two in many cases.  Wearing a back brace offers some extra back support, and makes one aware of the weight they are lifting, but can’t prevent an injury if the load is too heavy.

Noise Hazards.  If you work in a place where you and your co-workers have to yell at each other, you need hearing protection.  Businesses such as manufacturing, airports (those working near the planes), around racecars and other loud machinery, need to protect their hearing.  Once hearing is damaged, it can’t be fixed.  Rather than have to wear a hearing aid, why not start off with hearing protection at the beginning of your career?  And for parents, encourage your kids to keep their music at a normal level.  When you can hear their music through their earplugs, it’s time to turn it down, and save their hearing.

Let’s help protect our coworkers and others when we notice something that could cause someone to get hurt.  Report any hazards at work; also, report hazards that you see in a store where you are shopping.   You could save someone from injury, and also save a company from a lawsuit.