Do you know your potential hazards that could put you, your people or your project at risk? Ash Boss, Senior Occupational Hygienist discusses the top hazards that can be found on project sites, and how to minimise your risk to stay safe and healthy at work.
What are some of the common risks that can be found on worksites?
Most workplaces contain a number of hazards that can pose a risk to the health of workers and the community. Some you may not have even thought to be a problem, and some are too small to see with the naked eye, so it can be hard to know when there is an issue without a professional. Common hazards across workplaces include:
- Heat stress
- Diesel emissions
- Volatile organic compounds
Hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead may also pose a risk in older properties.
Because some occupational heath hazards can induce some pretty nasty effects (like silicosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Noise Induced Hearing Loss), it is important that all health hazards are identified, and measures are put in place to manage these hazards effectively.
What are your recommendations for minimizing risks on worksites?
The first step is to anticipate and identify any health hazards that may be present. A qualified occupational hygienist can help you to understand what risks may be present at your site and what control measures need to be implemented to keep your team safe.
My next recommendation is to create safe systems of work. Review your work practices and see if there is any way that you can improve things to prevent exposures to health hazards. And if you find an unexpected hazard on your site, don’t push through, call an expert for some advice. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep workplaces safe and healthy.
If you’re not already, start regular conversations about health hazards in the workplace. Not only is it a regulatory requirement for all hazards to be communicated with workers, but one of the best ways that we can protect worker health is by creating a cohesive health and safety culture where everyone is on board and looking out for one another.
What help can an Occupational Hygiene specialist provide?
Occupational Hygienists can provide an array of support to clients, from conducting risk assessments, to providing professional advice about how to effectively implement control measures, or developing governance plans, such as Occupational Health & Hygiene Management Plans, Exposure Control Plans or Hearing Conservation Programs to protect workers and keep businesses moving.
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