In the dynamic world of manufacturing, workers play an important role in producing goods that impact our daily lives.
However, the nature of the job can expose them to various health risks. Understanding these potential illnesses is necessary for creating a safer work environment.
1. Respiratory issues
Manufacturing processes often involve the use of chemicals and materials that emit harmful fumes and dust. Prolonged exposure to these airborne particles can lead to respiratory issues such as bronchitis and asthma. In 2022, employers reported 365,000 cases of workplace respiratory illnesses, an increase of 35.4% over 2021.
2. Repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive tasks on assembly lines can take a toll on the body. Workers may develop RSIs, which are musculoskeletal disorders caused by repeated movements and strain. Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis are common in manufacturing settings.
3. Noise-induced hearing loss
Machinery and equipment in manufacturing facilities often produce high levels of noise. Prolonged exposure can lead to permanent hearing damage. To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, workers should use ear protection, and employers should invest in noise reduction measures.
4. Skin disorders
Contact with various chemicals and substances during the manufacturing process can result in skin disorders. Dermatitis, eczema and chemical burns are potential risks. It is important for workers to use protective clothing, including gloves and aprons.
5. Vision problems
Continuous exposure to bright lights, welding arcs and other intense sources of light in manufacturing can lead to vision problems. Conditions like eye strain, cataracts and blurred vision may develop over time. Workers should wear appropriate eye protection.
While manufacturing plants work toward ensuring a safe working environment, those affected by common workplace illnesses have recourse to receive compensation.