Work-related safety concerns come in two forms: physical and emotional. A comprehensive safety
plan requires attention to both aspects of health, and a framework for preventing and addressing
Physical and environmental risks
Pollutants and dangerous chemicals are major occupational hazards that can have dire
consequences if left unaddressed. Working in a potentially toxic environment carries risks of many
diseases, particularly cancer. Surprisingly, these long-term effects are a much more frequent and
pervasive problem than even workplace injuries. In industries where exposure to cancer-causing
chemicals is a daily part of the job, employees should always be aware of the hazards. The protocol
should mandate and enforce the wearing of protective safety gear, and encourage employees to
undertake regular and timely health check-ups.
Mental and emotional risks
Stress, depression, and anxiety are big issues here. Workplace-related mental problems arise due to
stressful changes in environment, workload, or an unhealthy social environment at work. The World
Health Organization defines a healthy job environment as one where “the pressures on employees
are appropriate in relation to their abilities and resources, to the amount of control they have over
their work, and to the support they receive from people who matter to them.” Management can
make a difference by striving to be open and responsive to employee concerns, ensuring that
employees feel supported and receive tasks that are appropriate to their level of skills and training.
What kind of strategies does your workplace use to deal with health and safety concerns? Let us
know on Twitter @donesafe!
As always, stay safe,
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