Common Health and Safety Hazards in Factories
Just like elsewhere in the western world, In the UK as well the government has prescribed some safety regulations that have to be adhered to by any workplace. Protection against health and safety hazards may even extend to the families of people employed in hazardous occupations. In the European Union, member countries have enforced authorities to ensure that the legal basics related to occupational health and safety hazards is followed in any case.
Hazard is something that can cause harm if not controlled. A risk is the probability of the outcome which will occur if harm occurs. The outcome can be defined as the result of an uncontrolled hazard. Risk analysis is conducted to identify hazards, evaluate the risk, and identify and prioritize the required actions.
Workplace safety hazards are normally grouped into environmental hazards, environmental agents, physical agents, physical hazards, chemical agents, and biological hazards. Environmental hazards normally include asphyxiation 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 that is done in a factory, safety precautions have to be employed. Office workers can be affected by a flu spread by a co-worker, and a factory worker can receive serious injury because of an accident. Common health and safety hazards can be avoided by taking necessary precautions. But, even with all necessary precautions accidents do occur.
To minimize safety hazards, workers are issued safety goggles, helmets, gloves, safety shoes, and coveralls. For avoiding health hazards, a virus free and well ventilated environment is provided. Clean drinking water, clean and safe kitchen and eating areas are maintained. Some factories require medical checkups of the employees on regular basis.
There are some basic health and safety rules that all factory owners are bound to follow. There are special rules for factories that use hazardous material. These include installation of safety showers and eye wash stands. Special safety clothes may also be required by law to be provided to the employees.
The common safety and health laws that factories in the UK have to follow can be found in the local factory laws. They may differ slightly depending on the local county laws. Health laws cover providing a well ventilated, clean, and dust free environment. Safety laws require wearing of proper safety equipment as required by the type of job being performed. If it is a factory where there is a probability of falling objects striking someone, then safety helmets must be worn. If the floors are wet or slippery, proper safety shoes must be worn.
The basic rules are very general in nature as they encompass the entire business spectrum. But there are further classifications that are factory dependent. If the factory handles harmful chemicals, then the safety laws are going to be different from a factory that does packaging. One single rule cannot cover all factories’ safety and health regulations. In most cases, the rules regarding safety and health can also be quite vague.