Hand safety is a big thing! Our workers hands, wrists, fingers, and thumbs are not just tools; they are essential to their daily activities. However, in work environments, they become vulnerable to a range of injuries, which range from minor cuts, strains, and sprains that may temporarily hamper productivity to catastrophic crush injuries.
A hand or finger injury can have a long-term impact on a worker’s day-to-day routine. The injury could lead to reduced range of motion in the fingers, an inability to bend the fingers, or weakened grip strength that does not improve with time. Other hand and finger injuries can cause the complete loss of use of the hand or fingers. There is also the possibility of amputation in some cases.
Hand and finger injuries hold immense power over a worker’s well-being and livelihood. The significance of protecting these intricate body parts cannot be overstated.
Despite slowly declining incidents of hand accidents at work, the accident figures are still high. Here are a few surprising hand injury facts:
Each year, an estimated 1 million workers need emergency medical care due to a severe hand injury, according to BLS statistics cited by Occupational Health & Safety magazine.
Another recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor found that 23 percent of all work-related injuries involved injuries to the hands or fingers, making hand injuries “the most frequent preventable injuries,” according to Safety + Health magazine.
The same Safety + Health article noted that hand injuries are the second most common reason for missed work after back and neck injuries.
Hand and finger injuries can be caused by compression between objects, equipment malfunctions, electrical accidents, and not following safety protocols. While it is possible that they can be caused by the injured employee, in some cases, they are the result of negligence.
The five most common kinds of hand and finger injuries include:
c. Avulsions or detachments
Less common hand and finger injuries are caused by the following:
2. Chemical exposure
Since the majority of work completed on a jobsite is done by hand, injuries can happen to anyone, even well-protected workers. So, try to protect yourself by using hand safety tools, which can be an essential part of providing proper hand protection.