Some on-the-job dangers are obvious, such as power saws, flammable chemicals and high-rise construction projects. Other dangers, however, are more difficult to detect and can place unsuspecting workers at risk. Here are three common but hidden dangers that may be lurking in your place of work.
Exposure to high levels of noise can result in serious hearing impairments and even total hearing loss. Noises that fall below 70 decibels are generally safe, but when the noise level rises above 85 decibels it can cause hearing damage. To put that number in perspective, here are a few common noises that are roughly 85 decibels:
- A blender
- Constant traffic
- A crowded bar
Note that all three of these noises are common and present in many job environments. In some industries, noise protection is mandatory, but in many, it is not. When workers spend shift after shift exposed to loud noises without adequate protection, the hearing loss can be severe and irreparable.
We associate many job injuries with high levels of activity, but long periods of inactivity can be dangerous as well. Truck drivers and airplane pilots who must spend several consecutive hours seated in a cramped position can develop dangerous blood clots. Office workers who sit at their keyboards and type all day can develop painful and debilitating repetitive stress injuries.
Sadly, a leading danger facing some workers is people themselves. This is especially true in some occupations, such as police officers and security guards. Health care workers are also vulnerable to violent attacks by patients who resist treatment. Coworkers may even have violent intent, especially if your employer does not thoroughly vet potential employees in their hiring practices.
If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, you deserve compensation for your medical bills and wage loss. Whether your injury was caused by a one-time accident or developed over time, workers’ compensation benefits can provide you with the financial means to make it through this difficult time.