Some jobs are bad because they pay little or are poorly organized. Others are bad for a more serious reason – they’re damaging to your physical health. Whilst there are more health and safety regulations in place than ever before, this hasn’t ironed out all the hazards in our workplaces. In fact, there may be risks that you haven’t even realized haven’t been addressed. Here are some tips for spotting these potential health hazards. You can then choose to notify your employer of how to combat these risks or leave to find a safer job (this could be the preferred solution).
Know when stress is wearing you down
Stress can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and other problems. It’s the result of overproduced cortisol constantly flowing through our bloodstreams preventing us from getting sleep, making us always tense and increasing blood pressure.
It’s rare you’ll find a job completely devoid of stress – we all have the occasional stressful client or tight deadline to meet. However, you should be wary of jobs in which you are constantly under stress with no reprieve. This may be due to an unreasonable workload, too many responsibilities, long hours or the people you work with. Whatever the case, you should try to combat this stress before it does lasting damage.
Stress therapy is available for those that need it. Sometimes a simple holiday or a healthy dose of spa treatment could be all you need. Many employers will understand if you need to take time out, especially if you have a medical note to support it – if they refuse then this is a clear sign of a bad working environment with a boss that doesn’t care for his workforce. Some of the best high-stress jobs will have measures in place to alleviate this stress, whether it be a regular holiday, employer incentives or good HR support.
Ask about protective equipment if not supplied
If you believe that you should be doing a job with protective equipment, you should always bring such an issue to an employer. This may involve wearing masks when dealing with fumes, wearing gloves when handling chemicals or having some form of monitor such as a carbon monoxide monitor.
Some tasks may require such equipment by law and not having it available could be reason to sue them. In some job environments, safety equipment may be supplied but not enforced. Just because others are not wearing it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Make sure that training is given in how to use this safety equipment.
Take legal action against employers that damaged your health
If your job has already damaged your health either through an accident or long-term exposure to a chemical or a repetitive strain injury, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit against your employer. The likes of asbestos, for example, have proven to cause mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the surface of organs. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition and were exposed to asbestos without correct protection/training, it could be worth finding a reliable and trustworthy mesothelioma lawyer. They may be able to get you the compensation that could help pay for medical treatment.
Be careful of being tempted by danger pay
When working a potentially hazardous and life-threatening job, an employer will often offer danger pay – a greater amount of money in order to make up for the risk. This could involve climbing a high rise building to wash its windows or traveling to a dangerous location such as a war zone or natural disaster area.
Many people can be tempted into taking jobs for higher pay whilst ignoring the obvious danger. In fact, in some cases, this danger may not even be mentioned in the posting. This is always worth asking about if you suspect something to be fishy about the high price. For example, work that involves relocating to China may have an upped salary to cover ‘environmental allowance’ as some city areas can be prone to a smog that is so toxic it can cause all manner of health ailments.
By acknowledging danger pay, also be aware that you won’t be able to make a legal claim if something does go wrong. Do your research and protect your own safety and you may be secure from any risk.