Occupational health and safety are critical in all workplaces. As such, detecting and addressing workplace hazards are essential to creating a safe and healthy work environment. Occupational hygienists play an important role in facilitating these endeavours in the workplace. They’re experts at identifying and evaluating potential workplace dangers and developing solutions.
In this article, we’ll look at six common workplace risks occupational hygienists may assist in identifying and controlling.
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Workplace Hazards Identified and Controlled By Occupational Hygienists
Occupational hygienists are trained to recognize and address various health and safety threats in the workplace. Notable mentions include:
#1 Chemical Hazards
When not managed effectively, chemical risks in the workplace can have devastating effects on employees’ overall health. Occupational hygienists play an important role in ensuring workplace safety by identifying and evaluating potential chemical exposure.
Risk assessments are performed, potential health impacts are evaluated, and plans for engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE) are formulated based on their analytical findings. Since they’re skilled in recognizing and mitigating chemical risks, they contribute immensely to workplace safety.
#2 Physical Hazards
Workplace injuries and diseases can stem from physical factors such as loud noise, vibration, radiation, and hot or cold temperatures. Industrial hygienists are experts in spotting and assessing such risks in the workplace.
These professionals also develop recommendations to enhance workplace safety and health. They do this by implementing preventive measures such as workplace design and personnel training in industrial hygiene. As such, workers are free from physical risks that could pose adverse health effects.
#3 Biological Hazards
Occupational hygienists can also uncover and prevent workplace biological risks. Exposure to microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can result in related dangers. Experts in hazardous materials management, such as occupational hygienists, have the expertise required to spot and assess these threats.
They manage and reduce risks by developing plans to foster safe waste management, and good hygiene. A safe and healthy working environment is achievable thanks to their efforts to manage nagging biological threats.
#4 Ergonomic Hazards
These hazards are produced by the design of work-related tasks, tools, and equipment. Note that related incidents can result in musculoskeletal disorders.
Occupational hygienists perform risk assessments in the workplace to detect ergonomic hazards and devise ways to regulate and minimize exposure to associated incidents.
To achieve their objectives, they’ll suggest adjustments to work techniques, tools, or equipment to alleviate physical strain on employees. Their knowledge of risk assessment promotes ergonomic safety in the workplace, facilitating improved employee health and productivity.
#5 Psychosocial Hazards
Stress, mental health problems, and decreased productivity can be a by-product of organizational and social elements in the workplace. Occupational hygienists can identify, assess, and mitigate such risks across all work areas.
To improve workplace health, they might suggest company practice and rule adjustments. Therefore, employees and their host organisation benefit from their efforts to eliminate the risks of psychosocial hazards at diverse workplaces.
#6 Safety Hazards
Accidents and injuries like cuts, burns, and falls are possible outcomes of unsafe working circumstances. Occupational hygienists assess workplace risks and create plans to reduce or eliminate them.
To lessen the likelihood of accidents and injuries in the workplace, they suggest modifying procedures or providing workers with necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
Occupational health and safety professionals often go unrecognized despite playing important roles in maintaining worker safety and health. Occupational hygienists are responsible for ensuring employees aren’t in harm’s way while working by adopting control measures and suggesting improvements to working procedures, tools, and equipment.
These professionals have improved employee health, increased output, and decreased healthcare expenditures. As a result, firms must invest in occupational hygiene to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.