NextWave Partners is now a Certified B Corporation
30 January 2023
25 May 2022
Hand and finger injuries are some of the most common workplace accidents. Prevent them and stay protected at work with these safety tips.
The most common cause of hand injuries in the workplace today is human error. That’s right... not lack of personal protective (PPE), not faulty machinery, not environmental issues, but because of human factors. Hand and finger injuries account for a third of all injuries at work, a third of chronic injuries, a quarter of lost working time and a fifth of permanent disability. The most common type of hand and finger injuries are bruises, pinches, lacerations, abrasions, strains, and amputations. 70% of injured persons weren’t wearing gloves and 30% of injuries were due to workers wearing inappropriate gloves.
Even the most skilled and experienced workers are susceptible to hand-related work injuries. Human error doesn’t mean professionals cannot handle the job, but it does mean that they tend to grow complacent and get distracted while working. Complacency and distraction are dangerous habits that lead to numerous work-related injuries each year.
Most of these incidents occur while workers are conducting what is risk assessed as low risk tasks. Meaning that the tasks aren’t risk assessed properly, workers aren’t paying attention to hazards.
A suitable and sufficient risk assessment and communication are important in minimizing hand and finger injuries. Identifying related hazards such as pinch points, struck by, cut, puncture and chemical exposure as well as defining suitable control measures should be the starting points for any hand and finger injury prevention plan.
PPE: Wear proper hand protection for the job
LOTO: Ensure Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) is applied (when needed) before working on machinery and equipment
AWARENESS: Ensure everyone stays always focused
YOU: Personal responsibility for the safety of yourself and others
ERGONOMICS: Always be aware of hand and body placement
RIGHT TOOL: Use the right tools for the job