Workplace Hazards – Employee Wellness

Definition of  Wellness

An active process of becoming aware of and learning to make healthy choices. Wellness means more than simply not being ill; it focuses on keeping your body in good condition so it runs more efficiently and you stay well longer. True wellness is proactive; recognize that you have mental, physical and social needs to operate at top.

Employee Wellness

is any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes.

Wellness Program

A wellness program is any program implemented by an employer to improve the health of its labor force. A good wellness program also helps individual employees overcome specific health-related issues. Workplace wellness programs can be categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention efforts. An employer can implement programs that have elements of multiple types of prevention. Employers can provide mandatory staff training, employee seminars. They can even operate through a third-party provider with a range of programs. Often, employers are willing to foot the bill because health and wellness directly affect productivity and profits.

What is an  hazard

 Is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone for example, to people as health effects, to organizations as property or equipment losses, or to the  environment.  Hazard identification and elimination and risk assessment and control uses the following terms: Harm – physical injury or damage to health. Hazard – a potential source of harm to a worker.

Sometimes the resulting harm is referred to as the hazard instead of the actual source of the hazard. For example, the disease tuberculosis (TB) might be called a “hazard” by some but, in general, the TB-causing bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) would be considered the “hazard” or “hazardous biological agent”.


The chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse health effect if exposed to a hazard. It may also apply to situations with property or equipment loss, or harmful effects on the environment. Risk is the combination of the likelihood of the occurrence of a harm and the severity of that harm

Hazard Assessment

Hazards exist in every workplace, but how do you know which ones have the most potential to harm workers? By identifying hazards at your workplace, you will be better prepared to control or eliminate them and prevent accidents, injuries, property damage and downtime.

Firstly, a key step in any safety protocol is to conduct a thorough hazard assessment of all work environments and equipment. Before getting started with the list below, we e

Safety Hazards

Safety Hazards are unsafe working conditions that that can cause injury, illness and death. Safety hazards are the most common workplace hazards. Which include;



  • Anything that can cause spills or tripping such as cords running across the floor or ice
  • Anything that can cause falls such as working from heights, including ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any raised work area
  • Unguarded machinery and moving machinery parts that a worker can accidentally touch
  • Electrical hazards like frayed cords, missing ground pins, improper wiring
  • Confined spaces
1. Biological Hazards:

 Biological Hazards include exposure to harm or disease associated with working with animals, people, or infectious plant materials. Workplaces with these kinds of hazards include, but are not limited to, work in schools, day care facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals, laboratories, emergency response, nursing homes, or various outdoor occupations. Some of them include;


  • Blood and other body fluids
  • Fungi/mold
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Plants
  • Insect bites
  • Animal and bird droppings
2. Physical Hazards:

Physical hazards can be any factors within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. Examples are;

  • Radiation: including ionizing, non-ionizing (EMF’s, microwaves, radiowaves, etc.)
  • High exposure to sunlight / ultraviolet rays
  • Temperature extremes – hot and cold
  • Constant loud noise
3. Ergonomic Hazards:

Occur when the type of work, body positions and working conditions put a strain on your body.  They are the hardest to spot since you don’t always immediately notice the strain on your body or the harm that these hazards pose.  Short-term exposure may result in “sore muscles” the next day or in the days following the exposure, but long term exposure can result in serious long-term illness. They are;


  • Improperly adjusted workstations and chairs
  • Frequent lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Awkward movements, especially if they are repetitive
  • Having to use too much force, especially if you have to do it frequently
  • Vibration
4. Chemical Hazards:

Are present when a worker is exposed to any chemical preparation in the workplace in any form; solid, liquid or gas.  Some are safer than others, but to some workers who are more sensitive to chemicals, even common solutions can cause illness, skin irritation, or breathing problems. Beware of;

  • Liquids like cleaning products, paints, acids,solvents – especially if chemicals are in an unlabeled container!
  • Vapors and fumes that come from welding or exposure to solvents
  • Gases like acetylene, propane, carbon monoxide and helium
  • Flammable materials like gasoline, solvents, and explosive chemicals
  • Pesticides
5. Work Organization Hazards:

Hazards or stressors that cause stress either short term effects and strain or long term effects.  These are hazards associated with workplace issues such as workload, lack of control and/or respect, etc.



  • Workload demands
  • Workplace violence
  • Intensity and or pace
  • Respect or lack thereof
  • Flexibility
  • Control or say about things
  • Social support or relations
  • Sexual harassment

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