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4 primary hazards that cause workplace illness and injury

Employees in New York may face a variety of dangerous situations every day. Safety authorities expect employers to protect workers against workplace illness or injury. However, regardless of the industry in which a person is employed, he or she may be exposed to any of the four common types of occupational hazards.

Chemical hazards are typically posed by flammable, toxic or carcinogenic products that can damage organs and tissues. Biological hazards include parasites and microorganisms that can cause allergies and infections. Both these hazards can affect workers through skin contact, open wounds, inhalation and consumption. Employers must protect workers by providing the necessary personal protective equipment such as gloves and other protective clothing, safety glasses and respirators.

An endless list of physical hazards exist across all industries, and safety guidelines are provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Employers can protect workers from harm by compliance with safety regulations and by providing the appropriate personal protective equipment. However, PPE cannot protect employees from psychological hazards. These are caused by stress and fear brought about by violence in the workplace, work overload, lack of support and more.

Regardless of the type of occupational hazard that caused a workplace illness or injury, the victim may pursue financial relief through the New York workers' compensation insurance program. Benefits typically cover medical expenses and a percentage of lost income based on the victim's average weekly wage. An experienced attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance with the complicated legal and administrative procedures of the claims process.

Source:, "Four Categories of Workplace Hazards", Billie Nordmeyer, Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018

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