Green jobs are supposed to improve the environment and revive the economy. But not all such jobs are safe and secure for the workers involved. The green industry workers go through a lot of environmental hazards in their workplaces. The only way to save them is to implement stricter regulations which ensure their safety while they work towards making the environment green.
What are the Hazardous Green Jobs?
Below, you will find a list of green jobs which are carried out to protect the environment while at the same time risking the lives of the workers involved in these tasks.
1. Jobs in the solar energy industry: The solar energy sector is a growing industry, but the workers here are exposed to Cadmium Telluride, a carcinogen that affects their health. Be it manufacture or installation of solar energy, workers in both cases suffer from health risks. There are arc flashes, electric shock, thermal burns and blasts which can lead to injury and death as well.
2. Biofuel industry jobs: The demand for biofuel has been rising but the ill–effects workers in this sector face are detrimental to their health. Biofuels are produced from plant biomass, industrial wastes and other renewable sources which are combustible, thereby leading to harmful chemical reactions.
Workers in this industry are usually exposed to such reactions that make them suffer from burns and severe injuries. For example, when a biofuel like ethanol is produced, it yields acids, gasoline and bases also. These can have adverse effects on the workers. Ethanol itself is a flammable liquid, so you need to be careful if you are involved with the production of this biofuel.
Another biofuel whose production has ill–effects on workers is biodiesel. It is produced by combining vegetable oils with methanol in the presence of a strong base acting as the catalyst. The base is neutralized with sulphuric acid which needs to be handled with care.
Biodiesel itself is a combustible liquid that catches fire as soon as it is heated. While this biofuel is manufactured, it yields Glycerine as the by–product. Glycerine is again a combustible liquid. So, you need to take care when you are working in the production of such biofuel.
3. Jobs in the geothermal industry: If you have taken up a job in the geothermal industry, well then you need to exercise caution here as well. Geo–thermal systems are developed to create electricity by taking in heat from the earth and passing it on so as to cool buildings.
Some of these systems require pumping underground–water and heating it for the production of electricity. But other systems involve drilling into the geothermal reservoirs of the earth. In all these processes, workers do go through a lot of risks even though they are actually involved in making the environment green.
What Should Be Done to Protect Workers?
To minimize the effects of health risks resulting from green jobs, employers need to follow the safety and health standards enforced by the laws in their state. This will help protect the health of the workers while they give their best in keeping the environment green.