Like many Kentucky residents, you may love your job. While you may have some days where you do not want to go in, you enjoy what you do overall. You have possibly even held the same job for a number of years and never felt particularly compelled to change professions.
Despite your enjoyment of the job, you could face a number of hazards that could put you at risk for illness or injury. Even if you do not think you have a dangerous job, you could still end up involved in a work-related accident or face some type of exposure that leads to injuries or illness. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five categories of common workplace hazards.
If you face any of the following hazards at work, you may have a greater likelihood of illness or injury than you once believed:
- Biological hazards: If you work outdoors, around animals, with patients or in association with a number of other factors, you could face biological hazards like viruses, animal waste, blood, bodily fluids, mold and other infectious materials.
- Safety hazards: People often have concerns about their safety, and blocked walkways, frayed electrical cords, spills, fall risks and using machinery could all present safety hazards at work.
- Ergonomic hazards: If your work leads you to put your body in strenuous positions or to repetitively carry out the same motions, you could develop an injury that develops from continuous ergonomic hazards.
- Chemical hazards: A number of jobs could involve the use of chemicals or result in chemical exposure. Working with or around pesticides, silica dust, flammable liquids, carbon monoxide and other hazards could lead to harm.
- Physical hazards: You may also have to contend with physical hazards on the job, such as radiation, sunlight exposure, working in extreme temperatures and continual exposure to loud noise.
As you can see, almost any job could present hazards in at least one of these categories. While your employer has a duty to minimize your risk of injury or illness, you could still end up negatively affected.
If you do suffer injuries or develop an illness due to hazards of your job, you may have the opportunity to obtain workers' compensation. Often, awarded benefits can help with medical bills and lost wages that result from the work-related illness or injuries. It may work in your best interests to gain more information on workers' compensation to determine what steps you need to take to apply for benefits and what to do in the event of a delay or denial.