Accidents are common and can happen anytime at the workplace. However, some workplaces are more dangerous, and workers are more likely to suffer injuries.
Unsafe workplaces include all areas of construction, mining, woodworks, and chemical factories.
If we talk about construction, workers are prone to falling, injuring themselves while using heavy machinery, or suffering terminal diseases like cancer if exposed to asbestos or other toxic materials.
While some companies take strict measures to ensure their workers are safe, most don’t and risk exposing their employees to harmful substances.
On the other hand, despite warnings, some workers choose to ignore safety protocols and expose themselves to toxins, risking their livelihood and lives by causing long-term and irreversible damages to their health.
Below is a list of occupational illnesses and ways of prevention.
Breathing in hazardous chemicals at the workplace can cause various severe and long-term respiratory problems. However, employees in specific industries are at more risk of developing respiratory problems than others.
These include construction, textile, stone working, and even farming because employees working in these workplaces have more exposure to toxic chemicals.
Different respiratory problems may consist of mesothelioma, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), tuberculosis, etc.
Moreover, if you’ve served in the military, you were exposed to asbestos – a leading cause for mesothelioma, terminal cancer.
With a long latency period, there aren’t many treatment options apart from chemotherapy and radiotherapy (depending on the cancer stage).
Treatment won’t be cheap either, but you can file for VA benefits for compensation. Sometimes, claiming VA benefits can be a little tricky, so speak to an experienced attorney or a law firm that specifically deals with cases of occupational mesothelioma.
Employers can protect their workforce from developing any occupational respiratory problem by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment and providing them with proper safety equipment, which they don’t for several reasons.
So it’s up to you to take action and hold the negligent parties accountable.
One of the most common occupational illnesses is hearing loss. Unfortunately, workers often don’t even realize they’re victims of this illness because the symptoms aren’t that noticeable until it’s too late.
It takes several years before a person realizes they’ve developed hearing loss because of high levels of noise at work.
Workers at construction sites, airports, factories, and mining are at more risk of developing hearing loss. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers hearing conservation requirements, not every employer adheres to it.
You can prevent yourself from occupational noise-induced hearing loss by putting on hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, wherever noise is above 85 decibels. Moreover, you must also get your hearing checked up annually to notice any changes.
STRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS
Constant pressure to perform at your max often leads to stress and mental health in employees. There are various factors that induce stress and mental health disorders in employees. These factors include long working hours, heavy workload, poor management, lack of safety equipment, job insecurity, lack of autonomy, discriminatory behavior, etc.
Occupational stress and mental health affect a person’s physical, psychological health and negatively impact a company’s productivity.
Some physical symptoms of mental stress are frequent headaches, fatigue, muscular tension, sleep disorder, skin problems, high blood pressure, lack of concentration, or panic attacks.
A tip for preventing the symptoms mentioned above is to achieve a better work-life balance. You can also take help from your fellow workers to alleviate your stress.
Occupational dermatitis is a skin illness caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals. Due to its nature, the disease is often referred to as contact dermatitis. Exposure to detergents, acids, oil, rubber chemicals, cement, leather, or even prolonged contact with water can cause this skin illness in workers.
Jobs in catering, construction, agriculture, etc., are known for causing occupational dermatitis. Common symptoms may include blisters, redness, swelling, cracks, burns, stings, etc.
You can avoid dermatitis by wearing safety gloves to avoid direct contact with toxic substances. Following a good skincare regime can also help prevent this disorder, such as moisturizing, washing hands, etc.
Moreover, the good thing about this occupational disease is you can detect its symptoms early and take necessary measures before it becomes severe.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) include joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. Some factors associated with a musculoskeletal disorder include constraint body position, forced concentration on certain parts of the body, and continual repetition of movements.
Usually, a combination of all these factors causes MSD. Different musculoskeletal disorders are hernia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rotator cuff tendonitis.
Employees working in specific settings with repetitive and stressful activities are at risk of MSDs. The common symptoms include muscle tightness, joint stiffness, redness, or tingling sensation in the fingers.
Employers can save their workers from MSDs by allowing breaks for rest and limiting overtime. In contrast, employees can adopt different prevention strategies to eliminate the risk of developing MSDs.
There is no denying that taking care of your health while at work is crucial. Putting yourself first prevents you from falling victim to occupational diseases or other dangerous diseases.
Occupational diseases can be horrific and lethal, so both employers and employees must take necessary steps to avoid them as much as possible.
Employers can take responsibility and offer workers safety equipment to avoid long-term issues with their health. At the same time, employees must also follow standard operating procedures to ensure they’re not at fault in case something serious happens.