How To Prevent Hand Injuries In The Workplace

November 30, 2022
By N. Nicholas, ASP
How To Prevent Hand Injuries In The Workplace

Hand injuries can happen in an instant.

However, their impact can be permanent  Depending on the type of injury, a worker can lose their hand, a digit, develop infection, or other serious complications that can be fatal if medicaL treatment is not provided.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 100,000 workers experienced hand injuries in 2020. Now you can understand why hand safety, like other safety programs are important and should be a priority for every workplace.  

Common causes of hand injuries

Hand injuries are among the most common injuries experienced by workers on the job. Repetitive motion injuries, slips and falls, caught between, and contact with sharp objects are all common causes of hand injuries.

There are many steps that can be taken to prevent these injuries and they are always preventable.

Common Types of Hand Injuries

Hand injuries that occur frequently on the job include, cuts, scrapes, bruises, fractures, lacerations, punctures, degloving injuries, burns, and amputations.

How Can you Prevent Hand Injuries?

To avoid hand related injuries, always use caution and be vigilant when working with or around sharp objects, rough or abrasive surfaces, hot surfaces, moving parts, and machinery. Wearing protective gear when participating in activities that carry a risk of hand injury can also help reduce the chances of getting hurt. If an injury does occur, it is vital to seek medical attention promptly to minimize the risk of further complications.

Protecting workers from injuries is especially critical for those working with or using dangerous tools and machinery with pinch points, hot or cold surfaces, rotating parts, or those that are automated. Employers should ensure that proper training and an effective safety training program in in place and is being followed at all times.

Some simple tips to prevent hand injuries include

  • Wearing gloves when working with hazardous materials,
  • Keeping your hands clean and well-moisturized,
  • Using the proper tools for the task at hand.
  • Being careful when performing repetitive motions and
  • Using caution and wearing the correct personal protective equipment when working around sharp objects
  • Adhering to safety instructions when performing certain tasks
  • Keeping hands away from moving parts.
  • Never use ungraded tools of equipment
  • Being observant of your surroundings
  • Wearing gloves when working with dangerous materials is the best way to prevent hand injuries. These gloves protect your hands from chemicals, sharp objects, and other hazards.

Protecting your Hands Using Gloves

Your hands can be subject to numerous potential injuries at work, especially when working with chemicals, extreme hot or cold temperatures, and sharp, heavy, or abrasive objects and surfaces. In these cases, proper type gloves in vital to providing proper protection.

Protective gloves are available in a variety of materials that protect against various hazards.

Glove Types

How to Select the Right Glove

  • When selecting gloves, consider the following
  • What tasks are being performed
  • Conditions in the work area
  • Duration and frequency of use
  • Grip and manual dexterity needed
  • Puncture and cut resistance needed
  • Chemical resistance
  • All other potential hazards

Safe Practices

  • Prior to each use, inspect gloves for, holes or other signs of wear, discoloration or stiffness resulting from manufacturing flaws.
  • If using disposable gloves, verify they have not been previously worn before use.
  • Do not use gloves that show defects or excessive wear. Replace defective or excessively worn gloves as needed.
  • When work is complete, take appropriate precautions when removing gloves to avoid exposure to hazardous materials.
  • ­ When appropriate, wash gloved hands before removing gloves.
  • ­ Pull the gloves’ cuffs over your hand to remove inside-out.
  • Store or dispose of gloves properly after each use.
  • Wash your hands after disposing of gloves.

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