Employee Safety & Workplace Risk Programs

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: A. Casey Carr-Jones

Casey Carr-Jones holds a Bachelor's degree in English & Psychology. She is currently a PHR-certified Human Resources Consultant.

Different places of work have various kinds of safety issues and ways to fix problems and keep workers safe. Learn more about employee safety and workplace risk programs, safety training, and how to spot potential safety risks before something happens. Updated: 12/07/2021

Workplace Risk and Safety Training

Carol is the human resources manager for a manufacturing company. Midway through her annual workplace risk and safety program training, she is interrupted by a warehouse technician who says, 'Carol, this seems like a waste of time. Why are we reviewing these risks?' Carol replies, 'Keeping our employees injury-free is a top priority for our company. Let's discuss the purpose of this program.'

What Carol has worked to develop is the company's safety program, which reviews different types of safety risks and hazards, prevention tips, and the importance of following the organization's safety procedures. These programs are essential for companies to prevent injuries and reduce cost.

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  • 0:01 Workplace Risk and…
  • 0:43 Potential Safety Risks
  • 2:29 Purpose of Safety Programs
  • 3:15 Creation of Safety Programs
  • 4:13 Lesson Summary
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Potential Safety Risks

There are several categories of workplace hazards. Physical safety hazards are the most common and are present at most workplaces at some time. Physical safety hazards include spills and trip hazards, temperature extremes, working at a high height, electrical hazards like frayed wires, and machinery-related hazards like moving parts or removed safety guards. Many workplaces experience physical safety hazards, including corporate offices.

Biological hazards occur when working with animals, people, or plants. Examples include exposure to blood or bodily fluids, bacteria, viruses, insect bites, or animal droppings. People who work in hospitals, in emergency response, or in outdoor occupations, as well as those at schools or day-care facilities, are often exposed to biological hazards.

Chemical hazards can lead to skin irritation, breathing difficulties, and mild to severe illnesses, including cancer. These hazards include cleaning products, solvents, pesticides, flammable materials like gasoline, and various gases such as carbon monoxide, helium, and propane.

Finally, there are ergonomic hazards. Ergonomics refers to the study of people at work, with the goal of reducing the injuries and stress that result from repeated tasks or the overuse of muscles from bad posture. The category of ergonomic hazards refers to things that put strain on the body, like the type of work, the working conditions, or the body position. Examples of ergonomic hazards range from hazards that can build over time, like office chair position leading to poor posture, to repetitive motions like frequent lifting.

Purpose of Safety Programs

An employer safety program is a written action plan that identifies and attempts to control hazards. It should also define safety responsibilities and a plan of response should an accident happen.

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