This is a post by Anna Hicks.
After weeks (or months) of job and internship hunting, it can be easy to view your new opportunity through rose-colored glasses. But when you consider how much time you’ll spend at work -- roughly 2,000-2,500 hours a year – it’s important to be mindful of potential threats to your well-being there, including safety concerns. The following are the most important safety concerns you should consider before deciding if a work environment, or occupation, is right for you:
Sketchy Locations: While crime rates may have plummeted nationwide in recent years, young professionals working in the big city need to be street smart. Learn the neighborhoods of an unfamiliar city and look up their crime statistics. It will help you to get a sense of how secure your area is and whether you should take additional precautions.
Exposure: When thinking about dangerous work environments, we tend to conjure up images of, say, roughnecks on an oil rig. However, dangerous occupations aren't always so obvious. Lead and asbestos, for example, are toxic substances found in older buildings virtually everywhere. This is something to be especially aware of when interning abroad.
Hazardous Activity: The healthcare field is one example of a potentially hazardous environment. While catching Ebola on the job may be unlikely, violence against healthcare workers is rising globally. It’s important to take these factors into account when choosing your field of interest.
Poor Management: As you know, it’s important to observe potential bosses and coworkers before deciding if a job is right for you. Take this one step further when assessing safety. Managers who seem overwhelmed or unconcerned are more likely to allow on-site dangers to go unchecked. Make sure the management takes his or her staff’s safety seriously.