Unsafe Condition is defined as an unsatisfactory (unhygienic) physical condition that exists at the workplace especially immediately before an accident which had a crucial role in triggering the incident. In general terms we can say that it is something which existed previously and is different from the normally accepted “safe conditions”. Such conditions may lead to death, injury, loss of property.
These conditions exist all around us for e.g. being in a car and driving it at a high speed puts us in an unsafe condition where we are prone to accidents. Although we are vulnerable to such conditions but mostly we neglect them. According to OSHA( Occupational Health & Safety Act), it’s the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe and healthy working environment to all its employees. Some of the examples of unsafe conditions are:
1. Congested workplace where the workers don’t have sufficient space to move and work freely.
2. Improper atmospheric conditions without adequate safety measures.
3. The tools, machinery, supplies may be defective.
4. Lack of proper warning systems.
5. Hazards like fire and explosion.
6. Poor housekeeping.
7. Operating without prior training.
8. Poorly maintained record of injuries.
9. Failing to post OSHA announcements in visible locations.
Unsafe conditions lead to workplace hazards, there are four main types of workplace hazards namely,
a) Physical Hazard: Most frequently occurring hazards. Examples, loud noise of the machines, unguarded machinery, spill etc.
b) Ergonomic Hazards: This type of hazard occurs when the body of the worker is under stress because of the conditions of work and well the posture in which he’s working. It’s very difficult to detect this type of hazard as it has a long term impact on employee’s health. E.g. Improper work stations, awkward moments at workplace.
c) Chemical Hazard: This type of hazard occurs when the employee is exposed to any kind of chemical preparation be it solid, liquid or gas. E.g. CO or other gaseous emissions, exposure to gasoline or other flammable materials.
d) Biological Hazards: Involves the people, animals or any other infectious plant or animal material to which the employees are in contact with. Most common and widely known hazard comes from blood or other bodily fluid, bacteria and viruses.