Occupational Hazard Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Occupational Hazard, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Occupational Hazard?

n.A working condition that is dangerous and can lead to death or illness in case of accidents in various industries like construction,factories etc.Payscale is normally higher for the high risk involved.

History and Meaning of Occupational Hazard

Occupational hazard is a term used to refer to a work-related risk factor that can cause harm to the health, safety or wellbeing of employees. Occupational hazards have been in existence since the Industrial Revolution, where worker exploitation and death rates hit an all-time high. Over the years, work conditions have significantly improved, and laws have been put in place to protect workers. Despite the progress, occupational hazards still pose a significant threat to employees worldwide.

Occupational hazards result from various workplace parameters, including the work environment, equipment and tools used, and the nature of work. Employees are exposed to hazards such as accidents, toxic substances, biological agents, physical and psychosocial hazards.

Examples of Occupational Hazard

  1. A factory worker who is exposed to loud machinery that may cause hearing loss, tinnitus and other problems.

  2. A construction worker who is likely to face risks such as body strain from lifting heavy loads, falls from heights or accidents caused by faulty equipment.

  3. An office worker who faces repetitive strain injury from working long hours at a computer or desk.

  4. Agricultural workers who risk exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals.

  5. Healthcare workers who handle infectious materials that can cause diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.

Legal Terms Similar to Occupational Hazard

  1. Workers' compensation - a system of insurance that provides employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses with benefits intended to cover medical care, lost wages and rehabilitation.

  2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - a federal agency that is responsible for setting and enforcing workplace safety and health standards in the US.

  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - equipment or clothing intended to protect employees from various workplace hazards such as headgear, footwear, and gloves.

  4. Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) - substances or materials that pose a risk to health and safety or the environment due to their physical, chemical or biological properties.

  5. Ergonomics - the science of designing workstations, equipment, and practices to match the capabilities and limitations of employees, aimed at reducing musculoskeletal injuries and other physical stressors.