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What Is an Occupational Hazard?

OSHA defines Occupational Hazards as “a danger or condition in the work environment that can result in injury, illness, or death.”

missouri worker holding a hard hat

Work environments are different. From the setting and job description to company culture – each place of employment has its unique set of challenges. And it’s not just the challenges that are different, but what is considered an “occupational hazard” also varies. For some, an occupational hazard may be working with hazardous materials. For others, it might be repetitive motion injuries from performing the same task repeatedly. It really just depends on the job.

What Is Considered an Occupational Hazard?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines it as “a danger or condition in the work environment that can result in injury, illness, or death.” Basically, anything that could potentially harm an employee while on the job is considered an occupational hazard.

There are generally four main types of occupational hazards:

Biological Hazards

These are living things that can cause infection, illness, or death. They can be found in many workplaces, including healthcare facilities, agricultural settings, and laboratories.

Chemical Hazards

These are harmful substances that can cause health problems like skin irritations, respiratory problems, and cancer. They can be found in many workplaces, including factories, chemical plants, and cleaning businesses.

Physical Hazards

These are dangers that can cause injuries like cuts, bruises, or broken bones. They can be found in many workplaces, including construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses.

Psychological Hazards

These are risks that can cause stress, anxiety, or other mental health problems. They can be found in many workplaces, including offices, call centers, and schools.

Of course, this is just a general overview of occupational hazards. Many more specific dangers could be considered hazards in certain workplaces. To help you know if something is an occupational hazard in your job, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Could this activity or condition potentially harm me?
  • Is this danger present in my workplace?
  • Am I exposed to this hazard while I’m working?

If you answer “yes” to all three of these questions, then it’s likely that the activity or condition is an occupational hazard for you.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers compensation is a system that benefits employees who are injured or become ill due to their work. In most states, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees, which helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with work-related injuries or illnesses.

Importance of Understanding Occupational Hazards

Understanding occupational hazards is crucial for both employees and employers. For employees, it is important to know the risks associated with their job in order to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their coworkers. By identifying occupational hazards, employees can work to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Understanding occupational hazards is important for employers to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. By identifying and addressing occupational hazards, employers can reduce the risk of workplace accidents, improve employee morale, and avoid costly workers’ compensation claims.

Furthermore, understanding occupational hazards can also impact the success of workers’ compensation claims. If an employee is injured due to an occupational hazard, it is important to establish that the injury was caused by work-related conditions in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. A worker’s compensation lawyer can help employees navigate the complex process of filing a claim and proving that their injury or illness is work-related.

How Workers Compensation Lawyers Can Help

When an employee suffers from an injury or illness related to their job, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, navigating the complex legal system to obtain these benefits can be challenging for individuals already dealing with physical or emotional trauma. This is where a workers’ compensation lawyer comes in.

A workers’ compensation lawyer specializes in helping injured workers obtain the benefits they are entitled to under the law. They can help guide individuals through filing a claim, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies or employers. In addition, they can represent clients in court if necessary.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

Employers are required by law to provide a safe workplace for their employees. This means that they must take steps to eliminate or minimize the risks of occupational hazards. However, accidents in the workplace can and do happen, and you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

The Law Office of James. M. Hoffman can help you pursue your legal rights. Our work injury lawyer has over 30 years of experience representing workers who have been injured on the job and knows how to get results. So, if you’ve been injured at work, call us 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

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Updated: February 6, 2024