Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, regardless of the industry they operate in. The responsibility gets bigger in domains where risks abound. Industrial hygiene is a concern for organizations involving hazardous processes and materials. These entail a high risk of injury, illness, or impairment that may affect employee well-being in the long run. Fortunately, there are ways to address the hazards and risks by going the extra mile with industrial hygiene. Here are some tips you can implement in your workplace to ensure safety and well-being.
Start with ergonomics
Industrial hygiene at the basic levels starts with ergonomics. The goal is to limit poor posture, repeated tasks, and overuse of muscles as they cause stress and injuries. Proper ergonomics can help prevent health issues like lower back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis. You can do your bit by performing an ergonomics intervention to ensure safety with daily tasks. Simple measures like limiting time on certain jobs and providing tools to reduce repetitive tasks can make a difference.
Maintain optimal temperature and air quality
Maintaining optimal temperatures and indoor air quality also take you a step ahead with industrial hygiene. Both high and low temperatures affect worker well-being, specifically due to long-term exposure. Maintaining temperatures, providing breaks, and ensuring proper clothing helps workers to deal with the extremes. Improving indoor air quality requires controlling pollution, reducing dust from mechanical processes, and ensuring proper ventilation and filtering in your HVAC system.
Limit radiation hazards
Radiation hazards make a daunting concern in some industries, such as nuclear plants. Exposure to radiation can damage cells, leading to potential long-term effects such as cancer and sterility. You must do your best to limit exposure to ionizing radiation. Materials such as lead and concrete are ideal for shielding workers from radiation zones. But people may still have to enter these areas. Wearing a protective suit can provide considerable protection from radiation hazards. You must stock up on hazmat gear for daily tasks and accident safety.
Protect from chemical exposure
Chemical hazards are abundant in industrial settings. Workers are at risk as they inhale dust and fumes or handle dangerous chemicals like cleaning products, pesticides, and gasoline. While most chemicals are harmless in small doses, large doses and prolonged exposure can have adverse effects. Accidental leakage can be even worse. You can provide your employees with gas masks to handle exposure-related mishaps. Maintaining equipment to prevent leaks and breakdowns is equally crucial.
Lower noise exposure
Employers often take noise hazards less seriously, but long-term exposure can have dire implications. Industrial noise can cause stress and hearing loss for workers if not checked on time. Luckily, addressing them is easy as simple measures are enough. You can design your facility to minimize noise, separate noisy machinery with physical barriers, and provide devices like ear muffs to your workers.
Industrial hazards are an inherent part of running a business, but you can do your bit to safeguard your employees from them. Understanding and implementing these industrial hygiene principles can take you a long way.