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Are you aware of the three health risks of overcrowding in the workplace?

by , 02 August 2013
It's your duty as an employer to create a safe work environment for your employees. This includes ensuring your workplace isn't overcrowded. If you over look this duty, you'll not only be contravening the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), but your overcrowded workplace will lead to these three adverse health effects...

If you don't take steps to ensure your workplace isn't overcrowded, you'll be faced with the following problems:

Three adverse health effects overcrowding will have on your employees

  1. Overcrowding will lead to an increased risk of accidents as there'll be insufficient space for your employees to perform their tasks comfortably.
  2. Poor working conditions will lead to illnesses such as headaches, fatigue, the common cold, diarrhoea, problems with muscles and joints from working in obstructed space.
  3. Overcrowding will lead to stress due to invasion of personal space. 'Stress is deemed one of the biggest health risks people currently face at work and overcrowding is a contributing factor,' cautions the Health and Safety Advisor.

Is there anything you can do to prevent these adverse health effects?

Your first step is to identify the hazards, conduct a risk assessment and implement the required measures to reduce the risk to the health and safety of your employees to an acceptable level.

You must also provide the legally-approved amount of floor space to each of your employees. And that's at least 2.25 m2 effective open floor space.

Now you know the adverse health risks associated with overcrowding, make sure you take steps to prevent them.

Turn to chapter O01 of your Health and Safety Advisor to get the Checklist: Your stairways must comply with these
emergency route regulations.


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