There are many well-known environmental hazards in the workplace that most people are familiar with and information about the hazards has been widely advertised. Two prime examples of environmental hazards that have been related to significant, long-term health issues include working around and with asbestos materials and being around lead paint. But there are other factors in the environment that may be of serious concern to a worker’s health.
Here are just some considerations about the environment where you work and how it may impact your health:
Working around a constant flow of debris or dust in the air can cause a number of respiratory ailments like asthma or emphysema. Proper protective devices such as face masks can help reduce the amount of inhaled waste materials such as sawdust, dirt, and the like.
There are a number of industrial and labor jobs where debris from operated machinery can become a serious hazard to the health and safety of workers including grinding debris, stapling guns, and other materials and equipment which can cause damage to eyes, skin, and other areas of the body.
Many workers are exposed to toxic chemicals through fumes or liquids they are working with. Not only are many of these chemicals dangerous to touch, many are just as hazardous to breathe in including common paints and gasoline. There should be wash stations available in case of accidental contact and proper training on handling hazardous materials.
If you work in an environment that still allows employees to smoke in the vicinity of the workplace, there can be health consequences to other workers who do not smoke including respiratory conditions and cancer. Rules should be established to ban smoking in and near work buildings to protect non-smokers from the second-hand smoke.