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5 Work Hazards That Will Ruin Your Day (And How to Prevent Them)

Your business’s work place is more than the office, plant or store. It’s also your presence in the digital and cyber world. Taking steps to remove hazards on the grounds and when you or your employees venture online can save you from lost productivity, business interruption and injuries to your employees.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Approximately one in seven workplace fatalities arise from employees’ tripping, falling or slipping. The conditions that cause these incidents are readily visible and avoidable. Keep phone or computer wires, electrical cords and objects out of aisles, walkways and other areas of foot traffic. Dedicate drawers or other space to store wires and cords neatly when not in use. Spilled liquids create slippery zones. In advance of winter storms, apply salt to steps and walkways. Remove ice or snow before employees arrive.

Work Place Violence

Instances of assaults and shootings at work conjure images of disgruntled former employees or spouses of employees.

Yet, approximately 75 percent of instances of work place violence involve robbery. Over a quarter of work place homicide victims work in retail or sales establishments. Robberies compromise the employees’ and public’s confidence in the safety of your establishment. Efficiency suffers from time spent with the perpetrators and officers investigating the aftermath.

Criminals often strike in early mornings or late nights. At these times, employees count money as part of opening or closing the store. Have several employees on site, working with ample inside and outside lighting and securing entrances and exits at closing times or before opening. Handle money discretely. Use mirrors and cameras to observe activities along aisles.

Too Hot to Work

When your air conditioning fails, it creates more than discomfort for the workforce. The inability of your employees to cool their bodies hampers concentration, fosters irritability and creates the risk of heat stress, exhaustion, strokes or even death.

Regular monitoring and maintenance of the air conditioning units through a company like Controlled Comfort can reduce the risk of air conditioning failure. If the system malfunctions, controls such as ventilation, outside shade from trees and ceiling fans can mitigate the heat. During air conditioning failures, afford employees cold water, sufficient breaks, shorter shifts and options to work from home if tasks do not require presence at the workplace.

Computer Hacks and Abuse

Malware, spyware, viruses and unauthorized access to data can cost your company countless lost hours of production. The theft of trade secrets and sensitive customer and company data risks destroying your company’s reputation and competitive edge. Cyber-attacks come with an estimated global price tag of $400 billion annual.

Internet and computer security are paramount. Consider staffing or engaging an Information Technology or computer security expert or manager. Treat firewalls and updated anti-virus software as basic measures for your computers and network. Restrict administrator privileges to managers or supervisors to control changes to the network or computer systems. Remind employees of the dangers of responding to emails requesting social security numbers, account numbers or other sensitive information.

Companies leak about $63 billion in productivity a year due to employees’ misuse of the Internet at work. Enact and enforce policies restricting Internet use to work-related matters.

No Internet Connection

That message or icon that conveys the loss of Internet fosters a sense of paralysis in the workplace. Messages, orders, contracts, proposals and other business go unreceived or undelivered. Without Internet, research and real-time, current information remains beyond reach. Video or streamed conferences often must be delayed or rescheduled. Imagine the potential costs and liability from missed filing or other deadlines. Allow certain employees to work away at home where Internet is more likely to function. Obtain business interruption insurance that covers damages from loss of Internet access.

Recognize these five and perhaps other hazards to employees and your business, whether onsite or online. In many cases, you can keep the hazards from festering into loss of productivity and business. Keep in mind actions you can take to mitigate the aftermath if these risks become reality.

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