A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes “active”, it can create an emergency situation, Thus we can describe a Health hazard means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees. Occupational health hazards can threaten the health of many workers. In some cases, materials involved in a person’s job may result to a long terms damage that appears only after many years Teachers and researchers in our country’s institutions face a series of problems within the school the same at home as a result of school associated causes. Not only in Ghana but in other developed or developing countries too teachers and researchers face numerous health deteriorating incidences. Since teachers are powerful stake holders of the school, many teachers and researchers spend their life in such hazardous work environment, which cause a lot of adverse effect on their health. Being a teacher has rewards that no other job can boast. Teachers have the pleasure of helping a child discover his underlying writing ability, for example, or inspiring a teen to study physics so that he can create a more fuel-efficient car. The joys of teaching, however, come with a few professional hazards. Enter the field with your eyes wide open, so that you can take the steps to take good care of yourself, your students and your career.
The idea that teachers suffer from an excessively high rate of mental health problems is widely accepted among not only the general public, but among teachers themselves. Teachers report they are exposed to a high risk of stress and occupational “burnout” (i.e., syndrome of emotional exhaustion and cynicism that occurs frequently among individuals who do “people-work” which they claim leads them to suffer from psychiatric disorders more than the average. However, this seems to run contrary to well-established epidemiological data in psychiatry which show that the middle classes (where the majority of teachers fall) are relatively better protected against psychiatric disorders than underprivileged classes of society where the highest prevalence rates are found [4-7]. In contrast, when it comes to their physical health, we could assume that teachers have potentially healthy life styles, although it could be expected that due to their working conditions, they may have a higher risk for certain ailments such as voice disorders or venous diseases.
Some of the health hazards of being a teacher can be outline below;
Ergonomic Issues
Ergonomics involves fitting the work environment to the employee instead of forcing the employee to fit the work environment. Employers use the principles of ergonomics to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries and other occupational health problems. Teachers spend much of their time standing, and may have to bend, stretch and lift to use educational aids and equipment such as blackboards and projectors. This puts them at risk for varicose veins and for injuries, including sprains, strains, pulled muscles, and back injuries. For teachers who spend a lot of time using a computer, the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome is also a concern.
Work-Related Stress
Teachers have several sources of stress in the workplace. They include increased class sizes, student performance objectives, lack of control over work hours and methods, lack of student motivation, difficulty working with parents, lack of professional recognition, and inadequate salary. Although everyone reacts to stress differently, too much stress can affect mood, behavior and physical health. The Mayo Clinic says that stress can lead to headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, muscle tension, upset stomach, chest pain and muscle pain. It can also cause anxiety, irritability, depression, anger, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, and changes in appetite.
Legal Considerations
Educators must comply with laws designed to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, enacted in 1990, gives students with disabilities access to special education services. The act also protects the right of students with disabilities to receive a free public education regardless of their ability. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 implemented education reforms designed to improve student achievement and hold educators responsible for student progress.
Teachers and administrators must also adhere to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The act gives parents the right to review the education records of their minor children and request the correction of any inaccuracies. It also prohibits educators from releasing information from a student’s education record without written permission from the parent. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as releasing information requested by authorities or complying with a judicial order, but educators need to be aware of these exceptions and release information only when required. Failing to comply with these laws and any state-specific education laws puts teachers at risk of being sued or losing their professional credentials.
After a while, even the most enthusiastic teacher can begin to feel worn down by her dealings with unhelpful parents, belligerent students and lackluster school administrators — who are often themselves burnt out. Add pressure to increase standardized test scores, poor school resources and an increasing number of non-teaching-related tasks and you have a recipe for burnout. While there’s no sure way to prevent burnout, good self-care plays a role. A teacher should never feel guilty about springing for a pedicure at the end of a long teaching day.
There’s no doubt that when you’re in a classroom all day with 30 or more students — any number of whom might have an illness — you stand a chance of catching the latest virus as well. There’s simply no amount of hand sanitizer that can obliterate the risk of catching a bug after you’ve been sneezed on, cleaned up vomit and picked up used tissues from the classroom floor. Germs aren’t the only culprit. It turns out that students’ bad behavior is linked to increased illness in teachers, according to a 2012 study published in the “Journal of School Psychology.” Maintain a healthy lifestyle to lower your risk of succumbing to every bacteria that enters your classroom.
Violence against students gets considerable press, but what often goes unreported is the everyday violence that teachers face. During the 2007-08 school year, 127,120 American public school teachers were physically assaulted at school, according to the National Education Association. An additional 222,460 teachers were threatened with acts of violence. Verbal abuse, while not life-threatening, is also widespread and contributes to teacher stress, the NEA says. Decrease your chances of becoming a victim of school violence by learning — and putting into practice — de-escalation techniques. It’s also a good idea to document any threats a student makes, no matter how subtle.
False Accusations
False accusations of wrongdoing have been nightmares for some unfortunate teachers. It’s probably the last thing you’d ever imagine would happen to you, but even innocent teachers have ended up on the evening news because of a child’s accusation. While there is never a guarantee that you won’t be a victim of a false accusation, be savvy and document problematic interactions with students — and avoid being alone in a room or vehicle with a student.

This study shows that the preconceived notion that teachers have a higher risk of developing mental health problems is apparently a myth. First, as reported in previous publications, this study shows that teachers do not generally have a higher rate of psychiatric disorders. Second, one major finding of this study is that contrary to other results previously published, teachers do not seem to suffer more from psychological distress. However, their level of psychological distress does grow with age. Compared to non-teachers, they seem to be more satisfied with their living conditions (housing, environment or free time).
In contrast, this study does show that there is a higher prevalence in teachers of a number of physical disorders. The most affected organs are in the ENT tract. The throat, in particular, is affected and several studies have already reported that teachers seem to be prone to such problems, particularly those related to voice. Other physical disorders appear to be more prevalent in teachers as well. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report these results. These findings are, however, not so easy to interpret since they concern only one gender. According to the literature, some of these health problems may be related to certain working conditions experienced by teachers: exposure to chalk dyes as a possible cause for contact dermatitis standing at work as a predisposing factor for varicose veins, and work constraints as a reason for adopting at-risk habits for urinary tract infections, such as suppressing the desire to urinate or drinking less to avoid needing to use the toilet (as has already been observed in teachers.

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David MacCollum (2006): Construction Safety Engineering Principles: Designing and Managing Safer Job Sites. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-07-148244-8. Retrieved 2010-07-10.


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