How does the body fight hazards?
The human body has natural defence systems which help to protect
you against many hazards (dangers). These defence systems also help the body to
heal (repair) itself when it gets injured or sick. However, there are hazards -
arising from bacteria, viruses, chemicals, dusts, vapours, noise, extreme
temperatures, work processes, etc. - to which you may be exposed (which are
around you) at work or in the general environment, that can break down (weaken)
the body's defence systems.
What kinds of hazards exist in the workplace?
Some common hazards that may be in your workplace include:
hazards, arising from liquids, solids, dusts, fumes, vapours, gases;
· physical hazards, such
as noise, vibration, unguarded machinery, unsatisfactory lighting, radiation,
extreme temperatures (hot or cold);
· biological hazards,
from bacteria, viruses, infestations, infectious waste;
· psychological hazards,
resulting from stress and strain;
· non-application of
ergonomic principles, resulting in poorly designed machinery and tools or
poorly designed work practices.
Since your body's defence systems cannot always win the fight
against these hazards, it is important for you to learn what hazards exist in
your workplace and what controls are necessary to prevent exposures. Hazard
awareness will help you when you work with your union and employer to eliminate
Points to remember
1. Occupational exposure to hazards can break down your body's
2. Occupational hazards need to be controlled for a workplace to
be safe and healthful.
3. Some common workplace hazards are:
· physical hazards
· biological hazards
· psychological hazards
· non-application of ergonomic principles
4. It is important to learn about occupational hazards,
including how exposure to such dangers can affect your health and how to protect
yourself from exposure to such dangers in the workplace.