No matter what kind of workplace you’re a part of, you may find that there are safety hazards and violations all over. You need to be careful in these areas and do everything you can to stay safe. An injury at work can force you to take leave and pursue worker’s compensation and disability, but worse, it could make future employment difficult if you were severely hurt. Here are some safety hazards that sometimes get ignored because they are not overtly dangerous, such as exposed live wires or broken elevators.
Floors that are wet are common hazards and there are many injuries that occur because of a lack of “wet floor” signs. However, some floors are naturally slicker than others, such as glossy tile. These floors can collect moisture or not have enough natural grip for people to confidently walk across them. The employer will usually be able to fix this with the help of a local company, but you should always be wary of non-carpeted floors.
However, carpeted floors also pose risks if they tear – although those instances are much less common and more visible than mere slick floors.
APPLIANCES IN THE KITCHEN
Not all businesses upgrade their appliances like they should or they keep too many plugged into one outlet or power strip. Old appliances are more likely to break and start fires, but they may be seen as reliable and a good investment. Overloading power strips, though, is seldom a good idea – many fires have started simply because there was too much going on in an outlet. Some offices have their refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, and toaster oven all plugged into one outlet, which can cause a surge.
HANDRAILS ON STAIRS
Slick staircases are problematic simply because of how easy it is to fall down them, but there are also some staircases that do not have railings. It is a requirement to have railings on stairs of more than 4 risers and a level or grade change. Some businesses have handrails that are broken or that have not been replaced, which can be a hazard. However, these staircases are almost never in the main part of the building; they may be in the basement or leading out to the loading dock where only employees venture.
“Not only is it a safety hazard and violation, it’s also illegal and against building codes to not adhere to the rules for handrails on staircases,” says Farid Yaghboutil, founder of the Downtown LA Law Group.
Some parking structures have various problems with the architecture and maintenance, but one of the most common problems lies in the toxic materials present. It is not uncommon for asbestos and other chemicals and minerals to be present in the atmosphere in these buildings. Prolonged exposure can be extremely detrimental to your health, and what’s worse, the fumes can easily waft into the workplace if the parking structure is close by.
You should be extra careful when walking through and dealing with these structures, as the potential for hazards is very high.