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The hidden workplace hazards that confront employees

Webster & Carlton Blog

A workplace is filled with potential hazards. There are the obvious ones such as slick floors that lead to slips and falls, falls from heights and getting struck by equipment. All likely qualify an injured person for workers’ compensation benefits.

But hidden hazards, whether overlooked, surprising or shocking, also can lead to workplace injuries. Think of excessive noise levels that may lead to hearing loss or a violent attack by a disgruntled coworker or customer.

Sedentary work and violence

Among the less-than-obvious or hidden workplace hazards may include:

·      Sedentary assignments: Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to back problems and bulging spinal discs. Lack of movement also may lead to workers becoming more susceptible to heart disease and high-blood pressure. Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are not uncommon while working regularly at a computer. Factoryworkers are among the most susceptible.

·      Extreme noise levels: Hearing loss is possible due to regular exposure to sounds that exceed 70 decibels. Among the workers confronted by this hazard include carpenters, truck drivers, firefighters, airline ground crews, teachers and nightclub managers.

·      Violence: A violent and unprovoked attack may occur at any workplace. Think of the public safety workers such as police officers attacked by suspects. Health care workers also face similar dangers when working with unstable patients. The same may go for delivery drivers and customer service workers who face angry customers.

·      Emotional trauma: Over-the-top and extreme harassment, bullying and discrimination may lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which may qualify a person for workers’ compensation.

Workers must understand some of the more subtle dangers they face. On the surface, this quartet of hazards may seem subtle, but they often are not. These dangers are loud and clearly visible.

Protecting workers

Employers must provide safe work environments for workers. They also must provide them with proper training and the right equipment that allows them to safely do their work. If you suspect workplace dangers as well as having an employer that takes safety for granted, pursue legal options.

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