occupational hazard

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occupational hazard (plural occupational hazards)

  1. A substantial risk to a worker's physical or mental well-being which is present in a certain task, job, or profession.
    • 1984, Richard Lacayo et al., "Show Business: Audiences Love to Hate Them," Time, 9 July:
      They are the abrasive breed of radio and television personalities, most of them talk-show hosts, who treat their profession as a verbal adjunct to street fighting. . . . Threats and sometimes violence are indeed an occupational hazard.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) An unpleasant, inconvenient, or unusual circumstance which occurs or is likely to occur during the course of one's employment.
    • 1988, Susan Howatch, Glittering Images, →ISBN, p. 10:
      The attentions of passionate spinsters were an occupational hazard for all members of the clergy.
    • 2008, Steve Berry, The Venetian Betrayal, →ISBN p. 557
      Today he was going to make a few stops at the rare-book shops in the area—an occupational hazard of his new profession.
    • 2009, Jon Talton, Concrete Desert, →ISBN, p. 201:
      "Sorry. Asking uncomfortable questions at the most inopportune time is an occupational hazard."
    • 2010, Lisa Gardner, The Neighbor, →ISBN, p. 237:
      "Student crushes are an occupational hazard. Ask any teacher."