Risk Factors For Occupational Injuries And Diseases

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Your workplace or work can cause you injuries or ill health. Below are the risk factors for such diseases and injuries.

Non-ergonomic Workspaces

Ergonomics is the design and arrangement of workplace environments to minimize worker discomfort and injuries. Non-ergonomic environments increase the risk of injuries in several ways. Here are a few examples:

  • You risk musculoskeletal injuries if you strain to carry heavy weights instead of using the right tools, such as trolleys.
  • You might develop back pain if your desk and chair combination forces you to slouch for long hours.
  • You might suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome if your work (for example, if it involves constant wrist bending) causes extreme pressure on the median nerve on your wrist.

Your work determines the injury risks you face.

Inadequate Lighting

Poor lighting at work is more than an inconvenience; it can trigger several health effects. For example, poor lighting can lead to eyestrain and its associated effects, such as dry eyes, eye irritation, and tearing. Poor lighting can also cause chronic headaches. Your risk of accidents or injuries also increases in poorly lit areas.


Workplace pollution occurs in several forms with different effects. For example:

  • Noise pollution increases the risk of hearing impairment, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, increases the risk of different cancer forms.
  • Exposure to poisonous substances, such as lead, affects health differently.

Some workplaces are, by nature, more polluted than others. For example, construction workers usually face more dust and noise pollution than office workers.

Inadequate PPEs

Many workplaces have injury or health risks because of the work's nature. For example, dust is a common occurrence in many construction sites. Workers need personal protective equipment to protect themselves from risks they cannot eliminate.

Examples of PPEs include goggles, boots, respirators, hard hats, gloves, and face shields. Workers without adequate PPEs face different risks depending on their workplace. For example, a healthcare worker without PPEs risks catching infections from patients.

Psychological Stress

Lastly, occupational health risks can also take the form of psychological issues. Workplace stress usually arises from conflicts between job demands and employee needs, wants, or abilities that can affect your health in various ways. Stressful issues include unrealistic targets, long working hours, short breaks, and inadequate development.

Stress usually begins as a psychological issue before triggering physical symptoms. For example, stress can trigger headaches, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and even muscle pain. The longer you deal with stress, the more pronounced its effects might be.

For more information, contact an occupational medicine clinic such as XstremeMD.