Common Health and Safety Hazards in Factories
As in other parts of the Western world, in the UK too the government has prescribed some safety regulations that must be adhered to in any workplace. Protection against health and safety risks may even extend to the families of people employed in dangerous occupations. In the European Union, member countries have enforced authorities to ensure that legal grounds related to health and safety risks at work are followed in any case.
Hazard is something that can cause harm if left unchecked. A risk is the probability of the result that will occur if damage occurs. The result can be defined as the result of an uncontrolled hazard. Risk analysis is carried out to identify hazards, assess risk, and identify and prioritize required actions.
Workplace safety hazards are typically grouped into environmental hazards, environmental agents, physical agents, physical hazards, chemical agents, and biological hazards. Environmental hazards typically include suffocation and dehydration. Environmental agents include heat and cold stress. Physical hazards include collision, tripping, falling, and electricity. Physical agents include noise, vibration, and lighting.
Other hazards are mechanical hazards, biological hazards, and chemical agents. Depending on the type of work being done in a factory, safety precautions must be employed. Office workers can be affected by a flu spread by a co-worker, and a factory worker can be seriously injured due to an accident. Common health and safety hazards can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions. But, even with all the necessary precautions, accidents do happen.
To minimize safety risks, workers are provided with safety glasses, hard hats, gloves, safety shoes, and coveralls. To avoid health risks, a virus-free and well-ventilated environment is provided. Clean drinking water, kitchen and eating areas are kept clean and safe. Some factories require regular medical checkups of employees.
There are some basic health and safety rules that all factory owners are required to follow. There are special rules for factories that use hazardous materials. These include the installation of safety showers and eyewash stations. The law may also require special safety clothing to be provided to employees.
Common health and safety laws that factories in the UK must follow can be found in local factory laws. They may differ slightly based on local county laws. Health laws contemplate the provision of a well-ventilated, clean and dust-free environment. Safety laws require the use of the proper safety equipment as required by the type of work being performed. If it is a factory where someone is likely to be hit by falling objects, then safety helmets should be worn. If floors are wet or slippery, proper safety shoes should be worn.
The basic rules are of a very general nature since they cover the entire business spectrum. But there are other classifications that depend on the factory. If the factory handles harmful chemicals, then the safety laws will be different than a factory that makes packaging. A single rule cannot cover the health and safety standards of all factories. In most cases, the rules regarding safety and health can also be quite vague.