(ThyBlackMan.com) We all want to be healthy. We all want to make sure we’re not exposing ourselves to serious illnesses later in life. But if you work in certain occupations you may be at risk of health issues.
In some lines of work there’s no way to avoid the risk entirely, but you can reduce it. These are the most common jobs you need to be wary of:
Construction workers have always operated in a dangerous profession. But there’s a real risk of being exposed to various dust and debris. The biggest risk is asbestos. Buildings built before 1980 are almost certain to have asbestos inside them.
Mesothelioma afflicts 3,000 new people every single year. This rare form of cancer comes with a certain chance of death with no cure.
The problem is it can take up to 50 years to surface.
Bakers also deal with similar hazards as construction workers. They may not deal with asbestos, but the dust in the air can cause mouth, nose, and throat problems.
In extreme cases, these substances can cause cancer in all these areas. Avoiding cancer is as easy as wearing a face mask and removing all fine particles prior to going home, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks.
Ask any mechanic and they’ve never heard of a non-toxic solvent. Practically all the substances used by auto mechanics are toxic. Some of the harmful substances include brake fluids, paints, fuels, and solvents.
For example, benzene can cause unconsciousness and death in high doses. Years of benzene exposure can thin the blood and cause a decrease in bone marrow production.
Anyone who works in the mining industry will face life threatening
Cyanide, for example, was previously used in gold mines around the world. Although you won’t find it used in developed countries today, it led to many miners suffering permanent damage because of it.
Elsewhere you have polymeric chemicals used in coal mining. These are known for causing irreversible respiratory problems.
Anyone who cares about the environment knows about the importance of insulation. But think about anyone who must install insulation. They need to go into the dark corners of your home, rip out things, and install new insulation. This kicks up a lot of dirt and debris.
Like with construction workers, they must deal with asbestos on a regular basis. This can eventually lead to mesothelioma and a whole host of other respiratory problems.
Your Employer has a Responsibility
Most of us don’t consider the responsibilities our employer may have to us. Many of us don’t believe our employer has a responsibility to us at all. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your employer legally must do everything reasonable to protect you from problems now and in the future.
To start with, they legally must warn you if you’re going to encounter hazardous substances. This must be explicit and must be done well before the project begins.
Secondly, they should provide you with both the equipment and the facilities to keep yourself healthy. That could include overalls, a protective facemask, and gloves.
They may also need to provide you with showers. As in the case of asbestos, you need to shower and dispose of your old clothing properly if you encounter a substance like this.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Hazardous Substances in the Workplace?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents about 85,000 dangerous and hazardous chemicals. Many of these may be present in your workplace.
Once your employer has warned you of the hazardous substances you’re likely to come into contact with, you should put on all safety equipment before entering the vicinity of your workstation.
Throughout your work you should take care not to spill or disrupt anything by accident. In the event that something is disturbed you should close off the area. Everyone should be warned and a full incident report should be compiled. Anyone who came into direct contact may need to be decontaminated. In extreme cases, emergency services may be required.
If you regularly come into contact with dangerous substances, consider opting for regular health checks with a doctor. Some employers may even cover this as part of their health insurance.
Working with Danger
There’s no reason why you can’t be in one of these professions and live a long, healthy life. You need to be vigilant at all times, though.
Make sure that you do everything you can to follow the procedures and to keep tabs on your health. That’s how you stay safe within these professions.
Staff Writer; Ronald Poole