What is a workplace hazard defined as in Florida?

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe workplace in Florida. Anything that could present a threat to employees either has to be pointed out and explained to them or safety procedures need to be in place. When employers are said to be required to keep workplaces safe, that means they need to address workplace hazards. Just what are these hazards, though?

By definition, workplace hazards are anything that could be a threat to employees, whether it’s dangerous chemicals, sharp objects, or slippery floors. Businesses have to reduce the risk of employees getting hurt by these hazards as much as possible, even in situations where hazards are simply part of the workplace.

For example, hazardous chemicals may be used in a chemistry laboratory, but workers are required to use safety equipment, like lab coats and eye protection, to help prevent accidents. On top of that, the workplace needs to have an eyewash station, shower, good ventilation and other safety procedures in place to keep the chemists safe from being affected by the chemicals.

Sometimes, hazardous items don’t have an immediate health effect, but they could cause health problems later. For example, asbestos exposure used to be common, but today it’s known that asbestos exposure can cause cancer. That means that if employees could potentially be exposed to it today, they may have to go as far as wearing Hazmat suits to protect themselves.

Hazardous conditions also include the layout and work spaces you’re exposed to. Even the job you do every day could have several hazards involved. Take for instance a case involving a wet floor. If no wet floor sign was placed on the wet floors, then the slippery area could pose a hazard to employees.

Source: Chron, “Definition of Workplace Hazards” David Ingram, accessed Mar. 25, 2015