Yesterday’s Advisor provided training information on keeping work dangers where they belong—at work. Today we’re taking a look at more hazards … as well as how to prevent them from following your employees home.
Some of the dangers you face at work can follow you home … if you don’t take certain precautions. Hazardous “hitchhikers” can endanger the health of small children and other family members in your home. Yesterday, we listed hazardous chemical agents that can inadvertently come home with you.
Here are more.
Hazardous Biological Agents
Chemicals are not the only hazard workers may track home by mistake. Some hazardous biological substances can migrate home with workers, too, including:
- Asthmogens, allergens, and sensitizers. Allergies and asthmatic reactions to pet dander, pollen, mold, and other biological agents are common. If you encounter any of these at work, be careful not to bring them home to family members.
- Infectious agents. Workers in hospitals, laboratories, and agricultural facilities can carry home infectious diseases on their clothing and skin.
Workers may carry home radioactive materials as contamination on their skin or clothing, or they may carry home radioactive tools and devices without realizing it, exposing their families.
Prevent the exposures described above by:
- Knowing what’s on your clothes. If your work clothes may be contaminated, change before you leave work. If you take the clothes home with you, have a way of storing and laundering them separately from your family’s other laundry.
- Cleaning your skin. If you can shower before leaving work, you’ll remove contamination that’s on your skin and in your hair.
- Leaving contaminated items at work. Even if no one would mind if you took home tools, scrap materials, or packaging from the workplace, bear in mind that these may be contaminated. Don’t expose your family.
Also remember that family members can be exposed to hazardous materials when they visit you on the job. So make sure you thoroughly follow your organization’s restrictions on nonemployees in the workplace in order to protect your family.