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.

What can you control as an employer?

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.

  • Ensure that employees have the proper training information and instruction prior to conducting any task is vital to cut down on the number of hand and finger injuries
  • Increasing awareness of hand and finger injuries and concentrating on risky behaviors that can contribute to them is critical to reducing injuries. Asking employees to become hand and finger champions in the workplace will give ownership to employees
  • Ensure that there are enjoy types of gloves in the worksite so that employees can use the proper gloves for the task they are conducting.

Be a PLAYER at work and prevent injuries

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

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