What are the most common hand injuries in the workplace?
Our hands allow us to carry out everyday tasks with precise movement. However, our hands are also exposed to many hazards on a daily basis. Hand injuries can include anything from strains, burns, lacerations to, the most severe of all, amputation.
Industrial workwear can prevent most of these injuries and improve your workplace’s health and safety policy. From protective gloves to face shields, PPE is an essential part of any construction site and needs to be enforced through proper regulations. Invest in PPE signage to remind your workers to wear masks, goggles and gloves to reduce the risk of accidents. More than 70 per cent of workers, who have suffered a hand injury, were not wearing protective gloves at the time of the accident.
So, what are the different types of hand injury, and how can you prevent them?
Burns and skin irritations
There are three types of burns in the workplace: thermal, electrical and chemical. Thermal burns occur when the individual is exposed to flames and hot surfaces. Electrical burns happen when an electrical current pass through the person’s body and meets resistant body tissues. Finally, hazardous substances can cause a chemical change in the skin resulting in a burn injury.
Sprains and strains
Is there anything more embarrassing than falling over at work? Your workplace should be a tidy and obstacle-free area. Wrist injuries often occur from falling or slipping over and landing on your hands.
The most extreme form of hand injury is amputation. Amputations only happen in very severe cases and can often be prevented with the correct medical care. Amputation can occur when a hand gets crushed under moving machinery. Crushing injuries make up 13% of workplace hand injuries.
Staff should be properly trained in using machinery, power tools and various types of construction equipment. They should understand the correct speed to operate a machine at and how to select the right device for a task. Training can prevent a large portion of hand injuries.
Cuts and grazes
Minor injuries, like lacerations and abrasions, make up a whopping 63% of workplace hand injuries. For the most part, these types of injuries can be easily treated without any permanent damage. Operators should always wear cut-resistant gloves when using machinery with sharp objects.
Sharp objects can also cause puncture wounds, which take a little longer to heal. The operator may need to take a few days off work to recover.
Injuries can slow down your overall operation and lead to a bad reputation for your company. Invest in sufficient PPE and train your operators on how to wear PPE for different tasks. Educate your staff on the proper use of maintenance tools and machinery to keep your workplace as safe as possible.