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Everything you need to know about occupational risk prevention!

Occupational risks can occur in the course of a professional activity with various consequences, from occupational accidents to occupational diseases, as well as sometimes irreversible injuries.

Published on 7 July 2023 - Manut-LM

In this article, discover what occupational risks are, their hazardous factors and how to prevent them using our Manut-LM solutions.

What is an occupational hazard?

An occupational hazard is a dangerous event that can occur in the course of an employee’s activity. Depending on the nature of the work and the conditions in which the work activity is carried out, it can be defined as the permanent probability of work incidents.

An occupational hazard can lead to two types of consequences:

  • Accidents at work (AT);
  • And occupational diseases (PD).

They can cause serious damage to health and sometimes irreversible damage to the people who are victims.

What are the criteria for assessing occupational risks?

Now that we have defined what an occupational hazard is, it is time to look at the criteria by which it can be assessed.

The two main criteria are:

  • The probability of an unwanted event;
  • The severity of the damage caused, which can be measured by its intensity and extent.

You should be aware that several occupational causes can lead to poor control of risk factors and cause an overall risk at work.

The overall risk of a given work situation is the summation of all the consequences of the unwanted events it is likely to generate, affected by their probability.

What are the factors used to classify an occupational risk?

A risk factor is very often the precursor of a danger and reveals the dangerousness of a situation that can lead to risk. It amplifies the possibility of damage and sometimes unfortunately passes from probability to the materialization of risk.

These various factors can be:

  • Biological;
  • Chemical;
  • Human;
  • Mechanical;
  • Organizational;
  • Physical;
  • Psychological;
  • Radiological.

Biological factors can occur after exposure to infectious agents such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. In addition, agents can also be exposed to chemical factors, such as various substances. Exposure may occur either by ingestion and/or inhalation of gaseous, liquid or solid products, or by contact with the skin of carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic, corrosive, irritating or allergenic products. Radiological factors also exist in a working environment, as there may be radioactive and ionizing substances.

Mechanical factors can occur during work phases, such as handling heavy loads or handling equipment. For example, an employee could be hit by a machine, cut off his finger during handling or expose himself to the risks of physical factors (noise pollution, temperature variations, vibrations, etc.).

Fortunately, as we will see below, our Manut-LM solutions will allow you to significantly reduce the health risks of your employees, such as musculoskeletal disorders resulting from postural constraints and repetitive gestures, while automating your employees in their tasks.

Human factors are also not unrelated to the occurrence of occupational hazards. It is recommended to limit or even eliminate the likelihood of human risk through good practices. The same applies to organizational factors, which are part of management methods that require the most productivity and quality possible.

Psychological factors, for their part, are verbal or physical quarrels and aggressions between colleagues, by a client, a patient, a student or any other user that can lead to moral or physical pressure (moral or sexual harassment, managerial stress, etc.).

Risk factors are general, as all workers can be exposed to them. These factors most often lead to the occurrence of occupational accidents and diseases.

What are the employer’s obligations in terms of occupational risks?

The Labour Code obliges the employer to guarantee its workers health and safety coverage. The evolution of working conditions takes the matter further, by including any other cause that can be directly or indirectly related to the work carried out:

  • Alcoholism;
  • Drug dependence;
  • Burnout;
  • Etc.

Case law allows the employer to discharge himself from any liability related to an accident or illness of the worker, provided that it is shown that the worker himself contributed to the production of his damage, or that the cause is a case of force majeure.

Case law requires a real obligation of result, by deploying to all aspects to ensure the good physical and mental health of employees, the obligations originally put in place in the context of exposure to occupational diseases.

How to prevent occupational risks with Manut-LM solutions?

The prevention of an occupational risk is perceived as the set of measures to be implemented in order to limit the occurrence of an occupational disease, hazard or accident. This action aims to prevent or reduce the dangerousness of this risk by cancelling or reducing its probability.

The latter makes it possible to contain the factors that can lead to an accident and therefore it is important to analyze the causes of the accident when it occurs in order to prevent another one from occurring.

It is the employer’s responsibility to take measures to ensure the safety and protect the occupational health of its employees. The law stipulates that he must carry out actions to prevent occupational risks and arduousness at work. It must inform, train and set up a system of defence and reaction to occupational risk.

The measures to be taken by the employer are based on nine general principles of prevention, namely:

  • Risk avoidance;
  • Assessment of risks that cannot be avoided and their consideration;
  • How to fight them;
  • The adaptation of work to man;
  • Taking into account the state of the art;
  • The replacement of what is dangerous by what is less so;
  • Prevention planning through the integration of technology and the organization of working conditions;
  • Taking collective protection measures into account;
  • The diligence of appropriate instructions to workers.

With Manut-LM solutions, guarantee safety for your employees while reducing the arduousness of their work. For example, with the installation of stems or overhead cranes, you will be able to move loads of 250 kilos over a large area while limiting the risks associated with conventional handling by securing your handling processes. In addition to improving the well-being of your operators, you will increase the production capacity of your company.

To conclude this article, it is essential to advocate for the prevention of occupational risks in companies, as this protects against possible legal proceedings. In addition, it is a guarantee of performance for your company. Not only do risk prevention actions contribute to improving safety conditions at work, but they also include employees who feel taken into account, which is a factor in their motivation and retention.

What is an occupational hazard?

Occupational hazards are all the activities carried out by an employee in his workplace, which expose him to dangers that may affect his physical or mental health.

What are the criteria for assessing occupational risks?

Occupational risks can be assessed on the basis of two criteria, namely:

  • The probability of the unwanted event;
  • The seriousness of the damage caused, which can be measured by its intensity and also its extent.
How to prevent occupational risks?

To prevent occupational hazards, the employer should:

  • Determine the potential risks of each task of the company;
  • Assess how to protect employees from risks that cannot be avoided;
  • Promote the use of personal protective equipment.
What are the factors used to classify an occupational risk?

Occupational hazards are classified based on the following factors: mechanical, physical, chemical, biological, radiological or psychological.

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