Industrial workers face a variety of hazards in the workplace, and these dangers can result in unnecessary injuries and illnesses, including fatal ones. Most of the injuries sustained in industrial settings are preventable, and there are certain strategies that supervisors and workers can focus on.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a hierarchy of controls to reduce risk, and these include elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment.
Falling is a common hazard for industrial workers. Some prevention strategies include being aware of the surroundings, using scaffolding and ladders safely, wearing a harness and keeping floors dry to prevent slips.
Minimized exposure to hazardous materials
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, industrial workers face exposure to a variety of hazards such as dust, mold, chemicals, fumes, pollution and radiation. Long-time exposure to these can lead to serious health conditions.
Working in well-ventilated areas and wearing personal protective equipment, such as respirators and gloves, help minimize exposure. Maintaining equipment to prevent leaks, using engineering controls, washing hands and following proper safety procedures are also effective.
Prevention of repetitive motion injuries
Some workers perform the same tasks repetitively, which can result in injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain. Management should provide proper ergonomic equipment and conduct trainings on proper techniques to reduce the physical stress. Taking multiple breaks is also effective.
Hearing loss prevention
There are many sources of noise in industrial work spaces, and hearing loss is common. Prevention strategies may include wearing hearing protection, using materials to dampen the sounds and using machine enclosures.