Undoubtedly, work is an essential aspect of our lives. Our careers are crucial to helping us achieve goals, secure financial stability, and quench personal satisfaction. However, what’s even more important is our health, which many of us seem to overlook while pursuing careers.
While we may be unaware, chances are we’re being exposed to several occupational hazards at work each day. These hazards lead to adverse effects on our health. It’s not surprising many workers suffer degrading health conditions that limit their job performance and productivity, thereby jeopardizing their careers. After all, no one wants to retain fatigued and sick people because they cannot handle the job. Not to mention, deteriorating health will not only ruin your career but will also cause complications in your personal life. So, to help you advance in life, here are some ways to stay safe and healthy at work.
Protect yourself from harmful substances
You don’t have to be a chemist or biologist to risk exposure to harmful substances at work. Regardless of your career type, toxic exposure can occur in various ways. For instance, cleaning products containing formaldehyde put janitorial staff at risk of developing cancer. On the other hand, air pollution such as radon gas and engine exhaust can rise to hazardous levels in workplaces, causing breathing issues and even cancer. Hence, it is best to take proper precautions to protect yourself from toxic substances. Those working in factories or laboratories must have all chemicals labeled and kept in a safe area.
However, protecting yourself from asbestos must be your top priority, primarily if you work in the construction industry. Many workers have developed mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer, because of working near asbestos products. If you’re in a similar situation, it’s crucial to score compensation from the company that put you at risk. You can speak to an advocate to help you in this matter.
Reduce chances of injury
People working with heavy machinery and dangerous tools in factories and industrial settings are prone to physical injuries. A simple mistake or lack of focus can lead to a significant tragedy. Machines can be merciless and take a person’s life. So, to stay safe, it’s essential to avoid being reckless around machinery and make the best use of protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, boots, and high endurance clothing.
Also, working at a height is another cause of physical injury experienced by many. After all, it’s easy to lose body coordination and fall from high ground while you’re busy doing work. However, adding warning signs and using railings and support can reduce your chances of falling. Furthermore, reducing clutter and making your workplace more organized can reduce the risk of trips and falls.
Contagious viruses and bacteria can quickly transmit from one person to another, especially in a workplace where people constantly interact. A sneeze is known to travel up to 27 feet, which is enough to spread flu in a regular-sized room. Even if there’s no one sick at your workplace, there’s a good chance that workers may bring in germs from outdoors by carrying them on their bodies. Therefore, proper personal hygiene should be a must when coming to work.
To remain safe and healthy, frequently washing your hands and avoiding touching your face should be your top priority. Doing so helps kill germs and prevent them from entering your body and spreading to others. However, it’s equally important to keep your workplace clean as well. Using disinfectants on frequently used items such as keyboards and desks is an excellent way to remove biohazards. Furthermore, those working in healthcare facilities will have to follow additional preventative measures since they often come into contact with infected patients.
Avoid ergonomic hazards
While we’re busy performing our jobs, we slowly degrade our musculoskeletal system because of ergonomic hazards. For example, sitting in a poor posture all day on an uncomfortable chair can cause significant strain on our back, leading to ill-health. Awkward movements such as constantly typing on a keyboard may also hurt our muscles and nervous system. Not to mention, physically intensive tasks such as lifting and moving heavy objects are another ergonomic hazard that can damage our health. If ignored, body aches you develop may turn into musculoskeletal disorders that can haunt you for your entire life.
To avoid ergonomic hazards, practice a safe method of working that involves low physical pressure on your body. For instance, you can take short, frequent breaks from work instead of sitting and staring at a computer all day. Also, it’s best to work in a team and divide your workload to ward off burnout. When lifting or moving heavy objects, ensure you utilize the correct body tactics or equipment.
Follow a healthy diet
Whether or not you work in a physically intensive workplace, work can be pretty exhausting for the mind and body. So, without following a healthy diet, you can increase your chances of suffering from ergonomic hazards, infections, and even chemicals. After all, a weak body lacking nutrients to stay fit won’t be able to fight against worsening health conditions. Therefore, instead of overlooking your diet, be sure to eat healthy at work and replenish your body with fluids and nutrients. Moreover, have a healthy breakfast meal before coming to work.
A healthy diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, and a good source of protein such as meat, to provide your body with enough energy to last the entire day. You can also consume energizing foods, such as coffee, chia seeds, dates, and oatmeal. Also, it’s crucial to stay hydrated throughout the day to reduce fatigue. One percent decrease in hydration can cause a 12 percent reduction in employee productivity.
Stress, biohazards, and the use of harmful chemicals at work continue to grow, and it’s time to take occupational health more seriously. Without doing so, it’s easy to lose your career in an instant and create difficulties in your personal life as well. So, keep in mind the preventative measures mentioned above to remain safe and healthy in your professional life.