Businesses must be aware of any hazards in the workplace that could impact the safety and wellbeing of their employees or customers.
Many potential hazards in the workplace are overlooked and can lead to fines from local government authorities or payouts from legal actions. It’s in your organization’s best interest to be aware of the potential hazards so you can take the best actions that will protect your business.
Banjo, who are the leading commercial plumbers in Melbourne, has advised the following hazards to look out for.
Contamination in your workplace’s drinking water.
Contamination of your workplace’s drinking water is extremely dangerous. If the water isn’t treated properly, it could cause illness or even death. It is recommended that businesses regularly conduct backflow prevention checks to ensure that the water is safe to drink and complies with the local authorities regulations.
Managing the heat control in your workplace’s water.
Every year, people succumb to burns and scalds from hot water. A percentage of these are accidents that could have been prevented if the thermostatic mixer valve had been applied correctly. Furthermore, people also succumb to injuries as a result of reacting to the thermal shock, resulting in slips and falls that cause more injury.
Typically, the hot water will be kept at a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. It is set at this temperature to prevent the contamination of water-borne bacteria such as Legionella. The problem is if the water is distributed at a temperature above 41 degrees Celsius, it will be painful on the skin and could potentially scald the person in a matter of seconds. The right application of a thermostatic mixer valve will allow you to set a temperature that is desirable and that will also minimize the risk of scalding.
Adequate stormwater drainage.
How your business’s stormwater is drained is important for the safety of your business and the environment. Stormwater drains are set up to run into the local area’s waterways. It is important that pollutants such as grease, oil, paint or other chemicals do not flow into stormwater drains where it could potentially impact the waterways where aquatic animals live and where people swim. Keeping the environment safe should be a priority. If your business is caught contaminating waterways through inadequate stormwater solutions, it could lead to on-the-spot fines or other legal proceedings.
Things you should be aware of include:
- Ensuring that only clean rainwater enters your nearby waterways.
- Contaminated water from cleaning and washing is contained to direct to a sewer. The water can then be treated and reused in the future.
Trade waste disposal.
It is important to understand the difference between stormwater runoff and trade waste that can be diverted into sewers. Trade waste may contain substances like chemicals and solids. This is common in the manufacturing business. You will need to consult with your local area authority to find out the trade waste that can be discharged and how you can comply with the conditions.
Dealing with Asbestos risks.
Asbestos can lead to serious health issues and diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Asbestos was widely used in cement and roofing in Australian construction. If the building you are based in is an older building, it could potentially have asbestos materials, thus making your work environment a high-risk hazard. Removing asbestos is a delicate procedure and should only be dealt with by licensed asbestos removal specialists.
Over the last couple of decades, businesses and insurance companies have had to pay out millions in asbestos-related claims for residents and workers that were exposed to asbestos materials and that later suffered in their health because of it.
It is best that your business plays it safe when it comes to managing risks and hazards in the workplace. Investing in safety procedures now can save you massive financial costs in the future, should any claims be sought against your business.