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Learn five common workplace health hazards

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Is your office or job site making you sick? We would like to think that our employer has our best interests at heart, but unfortunately, you may be exposed to serious health challenges while you’re sitting in the office.

Be aware of these common health hazards that you may find at work:

  1. Toxic coworkers. Did you know that being around negative and toxic coworkers can affect your health?
    • It’s not easy to avoid your coworkers, so how do you prevent their negativity from hurting you? First, try to help. Why are they so negative? Encourage the coworker to look at things more positively.
    • Address serious issues with human resources. If you’re being harassed or hurt, then you don’t have to continue dealing with these coworkers.
    • Also, you may want to learn to recognize the negativity coming from the coworkers and walk away from the situation before it escalates.
    • You can also use meditation and yoga to help you remain calm and positive.
  2. Air quality. The air inside an office can be a health issue. It may be filled with allergens and pollutants.
    • Studies have shown that indoor air quality tends to be worse than outdoor quality. Researchers state that air pollutants are more concentrated indoors.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency confirms that indoor air quality can be worse than the outdoors. However, you can clear out some allergens and pollutants by having proper air filters and frequent duct maintenance at the office.
    • Plants can also improve the air quality in your office.
  3. Carpeting issues. Even the carpet at work can have a negative impact on your health. It can also be filled with allergens and pollutants. Remember, these things are circulating in the air and can easily fall and get stuck in the carpet fibers. Your carpets may also have mold and bacteria.
    • It’s important that the carpet be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. Old carpets may need to be replaced.
  4. Dirty work surfaces. The work surfaces at your office can be covered in germs and mold. They can also be covered in other allergens that affect your health. The work surface doesn’t have to be visibly dirty to hurt you.
    • A shiny desk can still create issues. Germs are invisible and can be transferred by simply touching a corner of the desk. You can pick up multiple illnesses from dirty surfaces.
    • The key to avoiding this issue is to have the work surfaces dusted and cleaned on a regular basis.
  5. Paint contaminants. Lead paint is usually not an issue in most modern offices. However, if you work in an older building, it’s possible that you may have it. In addition, newly painted offices can have high VOCs that affect your health.
    • Even if your office doesn’t have lead paint, you can still suffer. VOCs are volatile organic compounds that can be released from paint. They can hurt those with respiratory illnesses and other health issues.
    • You can find low VOC paint that is less toxic.
    • If you’re exposed to high levels of volatile organic compounds, you can have headaches, feel dizzy or tired, and suffer from brain fog. You may also have lung and eye irritation. The key is to avoid high-VOC paint.

Do you encounter these health hazards at your workplace? If so, take action now to remedy the situation. Talk to your boss or the human resources department about these health risks and what can be done to alleviate them.