Hazards and Controls:Service Industry
Whether your employees spend their days cleaning homes or pools, responding to emergencies or treating patients or driving a bus, their job is to serve others. You can serve them by providing a safe, healthful workplace.
Hazard: Slips, Trips
Wet, oily, muddy and icy surfaces increase the risk of slips, trips
- Keep the job site clean and orderly, with walkways clear of clutter that can create trips hazards.
- Select, set up and use ladders safely.
- Use required fall protection when working from heights.
- Do not jump from truck beds or equipment.
For more ideas, read our 4 Tips for a Slip, Trip and Fall-Free Work Day.
Hazard: Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is a pervasive problem across industries. It is especially relevant in service industries such as healthcare, firefighting
Control: Promote Awareness
Violence is such a high-profile hazard in health care that OSHA issued prevention guidelines specifically for hospitals, clinics and home health care settings. The rest of us can follow general preventive measures like taking note of customers who linger without buying, leave and come back or go to a part of the store where it is difficult to see them. If someone looks suspicious, make friendly eye contact with them. Most importantly, don’t be a hero, and don’t chase the robber. Your life is more important than merchandise or money.
Like workplace violence, strains are common in all sectors of the service industry, but they are a high-profile issue in the
Control: Practice Safe Lifting Techniques
Health care workers and emergency responders are at high risk of back strains when lifting patients. Employers should implement a comprehensive safe patient handling program. Everyone else can practice safe lifting techniques such as bending at the knees instead of the waist, keeping the load close to our body, and pivoting instead of twisting.
Hazard: Potent Chemicals
People who work in nail salons, shoe repair shops, and house and pool cleaning businesses use products that include potent chemicals. Even everyday cleaning products can be harmful if not handled properly.
Control: Comply With OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
By June 1, 2016, employers who use hazardous chemicals in their workplace must be in compliance with OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard. The standard helps ensure employees understand the risks associated with chemicals and know how to protect themselves.
Hazard: Bloodborne Pathogens
Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in blood that can cause hepatitis, HIV and other life-threatening diseases. Service industry employees are at risk when they give shots to patients, handle contaminated clothing or personal protective equipment, and clean contaminated surfaces.
Control: Use Universal Precautions
Controlling bloodborne pathogen exposure starts with practicing universal precautions, which means treating all blood and potentially infectious materials as if they were infected. From there, use self-sheathing needles, sharps disposal containers, vaccinations and other preventive measures to control the risk of coming in contact with infected blood.
Hazard: Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities across industries. Emergency responders, bus drivers, taxi drivers
Control: Remember the Basics
You can reduce your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident if you practice these basic principles:
- Buckle up every time, and make sure passengers do the same.
- Put cell phones and other distractions away.
- Never drive while drowsy.
- Control your speed, especially when driving on slippery roads, hauling heavy loads and negotiating curves in top-heavy industrial trucks.
- Keep your cool, even when other drivers get aggressive.