Examples Of 13 Types Of Occupational Hazards

Examples Of 13 Types Of Occupational Hazards

The following 13 hazard categories are adapted from Product Safety Management and Engineering, by Willie Hammer, ASSE Pub. This publication is an excellent text to add to your library.

  1. Acceleration: This is just a fancy term for “fall” hazard. Acceleration happens when we speed up or slow down too quickly. It also occurs when any object is being set in motion or its speed increased. Whiplash is a common injury as a result of an acceleration hazard. Hazards from deceleration and impact, especially from falls, also exist in the workplace.
  2. Biohazards: Hazards of harmful bacterial, viruses, fungi, and molds are becoming a greater concern to everyone at work. The primary routes of infection are airborne and bloodborne.
  3. Chemical reactions: Chemical reactions can be violent, and can cause explosions, dispersion of materials and emission of heat. Chemical compounds may combine or break down (disassociate) resulting in chemicals with reactive properties. Corrosion, the slow combination of iron and water, is a common chemical reaction and results in loss of strength and integrity of affected metals.
  4. Electrical hazards: Exposure to electrical current. There are six basic electrical hazards: shock, ignition, heating/overheating, inadvertent activation (unexpected startup), failure to operate, and equipment explosion.
  5. Ergonomics: The nature of the work being done may include force, posture, position of operation characteristics that require hazardous lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, and twisting. The results are strains and sprains to muscles and connective tissues. Overexertion represents the most common cause of injuries in the workplace. Unfortunately, OSHA rules do not cover protective measures against this type of hazard.
  6. Explosives and explosions: Explosions result in quick (instantaneous) releases of gas, heat, noise, light and over-pressure. High explosives release a large amount of energy. Low explosives burn rapidly (deflagrates) but at a slower speed. Most explosive accidents are caused by explosions of combustible gases.
  7. Flammability and fires: In order for combustion to take place, the fuel, an oxidizer, and ignition source must be present in gaseous form. Accidental fires are commonplace because fuel, oxidizers and ignition sources are often present in the workplace.
  8. Temperature: Temperature indicates the level of sensible heat present in a body. Massive uncontrolled flows of temperature extremes due to work in hot or cold environments can cause trauma and/or illness.
  9. Mechanical hazards: Tools, equipment, machinery and any object may contain pinch points, sharp points and edges, weight, rotating parts, stability, ejected parts and materials that could cause injury.
  10. Pressure: Increased pressure in hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Pressure may cause ruptures in pressure vessels, whipping hoses. Small high-pressure leaks may cause serious injuries.
  11. Radiation: Electromagnetic radiation hazards vary depending on the frequency (wavelength) of the energy. Generally, the higher the frequency, the more severe the potential injury. Non-ionizing (ultra-violet, visible light) may cause burns. Ionizing radiation has the potential to destroy tissue by dislodging electrons from atoms making up body cells.
  12. Toxins: Materials that in small amounts may cause injury to skin and internal organs are considered toxic. Toxins may enter through inhalation, ingestion, absorbed or injected.
  13. Vibration/Noise: Produce adverse physiological and psychological effects. Whole-body vibration is a common hazard in the trucking industry. Segmental vibration and noise hazards exist when working with equipment, such as jack hammers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *