10 Common Hazards and Their Associated Risks

Understanding the associated risks with common hazards can help while you’re working and even in your everyday life. Whether you work in construction, medicine, or even drive for a living, it’s important to know their associated risks, so you can better prepare and protect yourself. The more aware of your surroundings you remain at all times, the less likely you are to be confronted by a potential danger or accident.

Distracted Driving

Becoming distracted while you’re behind the wheel is one of the most important associated risk factors you need to remember when you’re planning to drive. Following a grave marker, street signs, lights, and indicators can help prevent accidents, injuries, and in serious cases, even fatalities. Anytime you’re planning to get behind the wheel, you’ll also need to do so while remaining distraction-free.

This means putting your smartphone away and avoiding the use of any devices that may pull your attention away from the road and steering wheel. Distracted driving has serious consequences. Not only are you putting the lives of others at risk when you’re driving distracted, but you’re also increasing the potential for delayed reaction items, legal consequences, and even higher insurance rates if you’re found to be the cause of any accident you’re involved in.

When you plan to drive anywhere, even locally, it’s important to do so only after you’ve properly prepared ahead of time. Determining which route you will be taking to reach your intended destination can go a long way in preventing you from becoming distracted with the use of your smartphone once you’re on the road. The more cognizant you are of your surroundings at all times, the more likely you are to have the ability to stop or maneuver properly to avoid a potential accident or collision with another driver.

Medical Malpractice

Whether you’re a general physician and Medical Doctor, or M.D., or you represent an office of plastic surgeons, you’ll need to know the associated risk of working in medicine and potential medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice is an issue that plagues millions of individuals and healthcare providers annually, in the U.S. and across the world. When you’re involved in any medical malpractice suit or investigation, there is the possibility of running into numerous issues.

Causing patient harm is the top-associated risk linked to medical malpractice, as many patients may become permanently disabled or even at risk of dying if they are in the wrong hands. When it comes to better understanding medical malpractice, it’s important to understand the potential of losing trust among clients and peers in addition to being held legally and financially liable for any pain, suffering, and issues you may have contributed to in a professional capacity. In addition to losing patients, trust, and being held legally liable, you’ll also likely need to pay a higher insurance premium if you’re associated with a medical malpractice case, and you’re found to be at fault.

Grain Entrapment

Working in farming or even overseeing the operations of a grain tower is not all risk-free. In fact, a major associated risk linked to grain tower service involves grain entrapment and suffocation. For those who are unfamiliar with handling grain and working in silos and grain towers, the risk is even greater.

If you are working with any type of grain facility or equipment, it’s essential to learn about the potential risks of physical injuries while attempting to move or escape from a major grain silo. Additionally, you will also need to learn about the potential suffocation risks and how to properly navigate whenever you’re handling grain in a safe and secure environment. Keep in mind that if you become stuck in a grain tower or silo, there is also the potential of putting others at risk during an attempted rescue, as rescues are particularly dangerous in a grain facility, tower, or silo.

Improper Lifting

If you’re working in a high-risk injury and conducting physical or manual labor each day, there is an associated risk that comes with improper lifting or even the improper handling of various tools and types of equipment. When you’re a roofing contractor or a paver sealing expert, you’ll need to know the associated risks that are linked to improper lifting, especially while in the workplace. When it comes to improper lifting, serious issues with your work capacity may occur, including your inability to stand for extended periods or even work a full shift.

Improper lifting can cause a myriad of problems, from back injuries and related musculoskeletal injuries to chronic pain that causes disruptions to your ability to work. In some cases, you may require long-term disability if the injury you’ve sustained while working is significant and permanently causes injury to your body. Increased medical and healthcare expenses are not uncommon for those who have suffered serious injuries from improper lifting.

Frayed Electrical Cables

Dealing with any frayed electrical cables while on the job can lead to serious injuries, electrical fires, and even equipment damage. In addition to the damage and risk a frayed electrical cable may cause, it can also lead to power outages. To better understand the risks associated with handling frayed electrical cables, you’ll want to watch and review a fire sprinkler training video that is relevant to your industry or the current line of work you’re in.

Handling electrical cables that have been frayed must be done properly with equipment and safety gear in place. Protective gear can significantly reduce your risk of developing a burn, being shocked, or becoming injured due to a fall as a result of an electrical shock. Anytime you’re in a work environment that exposes you to frayed electrical cables, be sure that you are working in a safe, licensed, and insured environment.

Sun Exposure

The associated risk of sun exposure should not be underestimated, as it’s possible to develop long-term skin damage, sunburns, and even eye damage when you’re exposed to too much sunlight in an unsafe environment. In addition to the potential risk of developing skin and eye damage, there’s also the risk of developing skin cancers, such as melanoma. Whether you work outdoors or you’re attending a local summer camp, you’ll want to take the proper precautions to minimize the associated risks that are relevant to your daily routine.

Anytime you’re thinking of spending an extended time in the sun, it’s important to do so only once you’ve researched various sunscreens with ingredients you’re comfortable using on your body. Conduct a bit of research on the ingredients used in each sunscreen you’re thinking of using to ensure it’s entirely safe for your body and its needs. You’ll also want to spend a bit of time researching SPF rankings to determine which SPF is right for you and the members of your household, depending on their ages and how long they’ll likely be exposed to the sun.

Expired Fire Extinguishers

Whether you’re a homeowner, own a business, or manage the operations of local high schools, you’ll need to monitor the age of the fire extinguishers you have in stock. It’s important to keep in mind that fire extinguishers do expire, which is why it’s essential to ensure they are replaced as necessary to prevent a major fire or to stop an existing fire from spreading. The risk of an expired fire extinguisher can range from legal liability (if damage, injuries, or loss of life occurs during the fire) to simply being ineffective once you’re in need of the extinguisher itself.

Keep track of your fire extinguishers in your home or place of work by storing the date in a calendar or in a location that will remind you and prompt you to replace them in a timely manner. You will also need to consider potential safety compliance issues, which can also help you keep better track of when it’s time for you to replace or upgrade the fire extinguishers you currently have in stock. If your fire extinguisher is not working in a time of need, you have a much greater risk of causing widespread damage and, in some cases, even harm to others.

Slippery Surfaces

Working around slippery surfaces is never ideal, even if you have the proper gear and equipment to do so in a professional capacity. Understanding the associated risk of working on or around slippery surfaces is a must, whether you work in construction or urban photography. Anytime you’re working professionally on a slippery surface, you run the risk of experiencing a serious or significant workplace accident, such as a traditional fall or another major injury.

When you’re working on slippery surfaces without properly preparing to do so or without the proper commercial-grade safety gear, you’re also running the risk of legal liability. This is more common if you’re in charge of another crew or team member, and they slip and fall while working on slippery surfaces under your direction or guidance. Increased insurance claims are also possible whenever you experience an injury or lawsuit due to slippery surfaces in the workplace.

Carbon Monoxide

Whether you’re renting a home or you’re the owner of a house, there is always an associated risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in any location with various gas-related appliances and utilities. If you believe there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home, you’ll need to immediately vacate the premises, call your property manager (if there is one), and in some cases, even call a landlord attorney, if you’re renting and unable to obtain assistance with the leak. A carbon monoxide leak is often difficult to detect without a monitoring system in place, which is highly recommended for all homes and even commercial buildings or spaces.

A carbon monoxide leak has the ability to poison those who are exposed to it for a short time, increasing the risk of CO poisoning or even long-term health issues. Cognitive impairment is also commonplace in those who are exposed to carbon monoxide in the home or workplace without knowing it. System failures in the body can also occur, resulting in death, if carbon monoxide poisoning or leaks are not addressed immediately, regardless of where you’re located.

Unsecured Furniture

If you’re currently thinking of moving to a new location or if you’re simply redecorating your current house, it’s essential to do so only with the proper equipment and secure gear in place. Attempting to move unsecured furniture is not only a tripping hazard, but it also increases the risk of causing damage to the object itself or even causing falling objects, depending on where you’re moving the furniture. If you’re working for a moving company that is not protecting you while moving unsecured furniture, it may be time to look into hiring a personal injury lawyer to search a bit deeper into your case.

Hiring the right attorney can go a long way when you’re working as a professional mover or even in construction. If you’re moving unsecured furniture daily, and you’re injured while you’re on the job, it can make it difficult for you to work day in and day out, especially if you’re suffering from long-term injuries or, in some cases, even chronic pain. When you are working alongside a professional attorney, you can determine what type of legal liability your current employer has based on the injuries you’ve sustained. If you’re working with unsecured furniture, and you are looking for the right legal representation, you can start at home by asking those you know for their input and recommendations. Learn more about lawyers who specialize in similar cases as your own online, with the use of traditional search engines (locally) and even with social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.

When you know which associated risk is most prevalent, anytime you’re conducting physical labor or a risky action, you’ll have the ability to properly prepare. From investing in safety gear and equipment to ensuring harnesses and assistance when you’re completing a task, there are many different ways to go about addressing an associated risk of something you’re trying to do, regardless of what it is at the time. The more educated you are on the potential risks that surround you in any situation you find yourself in, the easier it will be for you to think quickly, protect yourself, and ensure your safety.