Physical hazards account for a large part of prevention work and risk assessment, since they arise in a particularly wide range of forms at the workplace. They extend from exposure to noise, electromagnetic fields through ultraviolet and to ionizing radiation.
Exposure to UV radiation outdoors has increased in recent years owing to ozone depletion in the atmosphere. The sun’s natural UV radiation has a similar carcinogenic potential to that of asbestos and tobacco smoke. In principle, the protective measures for people working outdoors are no different to those recommended for the general population. However, employees in certain sectors spend more time outdoors for work-related reasons, and are therefore exposed to solar radiation on a greater scale.
Noise-induced hearing loss continues to be one of the most common occupational diseases. How should a risk assessment cover physical hazards? What concepts for protection can be used to address all physical hazards effectively?