Working in a high-risk environment is stressful, and dangerous, and can lead to serious injuries or death. According to studies, the risk of physical harm and illness is highest among workers who perform hazardous work, including those who work with explosives, in the mining industry, in chemical factories, on transportation vehicles, and on construction sites. To reduce the risks that these workers face, most employers have safety programs in place, including safety training.
Remember that it is important for employers to proactively take part in implementing policies and procedures for worker training, establishing safety standards, providing proper safety equipment, and regularly monitoring employees to provide them with a safe workspace.
However, there still are some organizations where workers are exposed to unsafe work practices. But what are these practices? They are: making the labourers work hastily, keeping them undertrained, lacking proper equipment, or not paying attention to the physique of employees. All these can potentially put workers in danger.
Hence, it becomes crucial to identify and prevent them.
- Lack of or Inappropriate Use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – Industrial employers should never put workers at risk of serious injury. That’s why safety measures like wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) are so important. They protect you against respiratory ailments, skin infections, and other deadly diseases that may arise due to the hazardous elements present at the work site. Therefore, not providing labourers with PPE is a serious crime as it highlights the lack of sympathy for human life. Likewise, not training employees about the correct usage of PPE is also misconduct. PPE malfunctions are known to cause self-contamination. It can lead to a number of health issues including suffocation breathlessness, fatigue, headache, dermatitis, nasal pain, and pressure marks.
- Use of Defective Equipment – A safe work environment is necessary for employee protection. This means the removal of defective pieces of machinery and safety gear. If you are given a pair of gloves with holes in them to work in a factory that manufactures chemicals, then there is a risk of you losing your hand. So, it is imperative that employers only keep those tools in worksites that are in good shape.
- Removal or Refusal to Use Safety Devices – Removing or refusing to use safety equipment is extremely dangerous, and it can lead to fatal injuries. This is a serious issue that can impact anyone, regardless of whether you are a supervisor, worker, or line manager. If you ever witness this kind of behaviour, report the matter immediately, and take steps to correct the issue.
- Operating Machines at Unsafe Speeds – Unnecessary speed can create unsafe conditions in a facility. Have you ever seen a child swing at a faster pace? Usually, that kid falls down and gets his knees wounded. The same is the case for operating machines. When you drive a road roller at Ferrari speed, it becomes impossible to control. In other words, you run the risk of falling down from the roller, coming under it, or the roller going haywire without a driver and causing a massacre.
- Operation of Equipment without Proper Authorization, Training, or Qualifications – Unsafe work practices are activities and behaviour at work that cause harm to people. These behaviours do not result from negligence but rather from a lack of awareness about the hazards that are present, as well as a lack of training. Imagine someone with little to no knowledge of handling a drilling machine at a construction site is assigned the work of digging a bore well. Can that person really do the task? Of course not, particularly because he might have never been trained about the process to operate it correctly. Hence, there could be a good possibility that this person could not only cause fatal injuries to himself but also put his workmates’ lives in danger.
Workforce injuries and fatalities continue to dominate the headlines. That is why, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) serves to protect workers by making sure employers have a safe and healthful workplace. It enforces standards and laws and helps prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Employers are responsible for complying with OSHA standards. However, in the event that your organization is not following any safety protocol or violating safety standards, you may be entitled to compensation.
Remember, while working in an office, factory, retail store, or another workplace, it’s crucial to keep your health in mind as they are the main factors that affect workplace productivity.