Industrial hygiene is a type of science that deals with identifying, evaluating, and hopefully controlling various workplace hazards that can cause injury or illness. It requires a deep knowledge not only of the industry and workplace but of many different hazards. We’re going to look at some of these hazards here.
What Are The Types Of Hazards Defined By Industrial Hygiene?
We’ve made an effort to make this list comprehensive, while also keeping it relatively brief. This may not be entirely exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of the breadth of industrial hygiene hazards.
Physical hazards are things like noise, vibration, temperature extremes, crushing, pinching, or other similar dangers. Noise is one of the most popular, and can lead to loss of hearing, for example.
Chemical hazards can cause damage to workers through contact, inhalation, and even ingestion. They include all toxic chemicals and elements, like lead, mercury, acids, solvents, and more. They are commonly the cause of breathing issues and skin irritation.
Biological hazards can include any organism or its byproducts that may pose a danger to workers. This can include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms. Exposure to these hazards can cause many different diseases. Like hepatitis and even HIV.
Radiation hazards include ionizing and non-ionizing forms of radiation which can harm workers. X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet radiation are all included here.
Fire hazards include conditions that can cause fires or explosions in or around the workplace or job site. These hazards include flammable gasses, liquids, combustible dust, and even potentially faulty equipment that can short-circuit or otherwise start a fire.
Explosive hazards are similar to fire hazards but are specifically related to those that can cause explosions. This includes liquid and solid fuels, as well as industrial explosives like dynamite.
Workplaces with psychosocial hazards have conditions that may cause damage to their workers’ mental health and overall well-being. These hazards can be high stress levels, bullying, or even violence in the workplace. Workers that are exposed to these hazards may experience symptoms in line with trauma exposure, like depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
In some industries, workers may face hazards that are due to both man-made and natural elements. Some of these hazards include air pollution, contaminated water, or weather extremes caused by human intervention.
Electrical hazards naturally involve any electrical equipment or potentially faulty equipment, but they can also involve other situations. Wet environments can pose a risk of electrocution, for example.
Workers that operate in conditions that are either high or low-pressure may face specific hazards due to those conditions. Implosions, explosions, and pressure waves are common hazards here.
Mechanical hazards are those that stem from large equipment or machinery that has the potential to cause harm. Moving parts, sharp edges, pinch points, and more come together to create a number of hazards in a single place.
This type of hazard includes any dangers from living organisms, from bites and stings from animals, insects, and reptiles, to biological and bloodborne pathogens. This is a very wide-reaching category that includes countless potential hazards across many industries.
Home Biotesting Is A Leader In Industrial Hygiene Hazard Identification
If you need the services of one of the leading industrial hygienists for your business, Home Biotesting is able to perform deep analysis across countless industries and can help you reduce your potential for workplace injuries and accidents. Contact Home Biotesting today for more information, or to get started.