Workplace safety is an essential component of running a successful business. All of your employees should be safe while at work. One primary concern is hand safety; you wouldn’t want an employee to lose a hand at work anymore than you would like them to lose their temper. An employee’s hands are a multi-purpose tool used to accomplish daily tasks, so protecting them is vital in the workplace. No matter what industry you are in, hands are the tool your employees use the most.
The most common workplace injuries are lacerations or punctures, falls, and repetitive-use injuries. Since employees use their hands often in the workplace, it’s no surprise they are usually involved in one of those injuries. Serious injuries to the hands and fingers are painful and expensive. If the damage is severe enough, many people could be affected. The employee may be out of work for a while, family members will have to help them at home, fellow employees will have to pick up the slack at work, and insurance must cover care and treatment costs. Any injury to the hand, no matter how big or small, could mean hours, days, or even weeks of lost production and work time and a good amount of pain and frustration.
So how do you protect your employees’ hands and fingers from potential injuries? It all comes down to preventative practices and protective equipment. Establishing, sharing, and enforcing hand safety workplace tips is also helpful. Your employees and your business will perform at their best when you take the precautionary route and promote these hand safety tips at work to prevent the dreaded hand injury.
The Right PPE and Tools All Used the Right Way
The first step in hand and finger protection requires your employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). This protection comes in the form of gloves. There are many gloves to choose from, and the industry, your work environment, and the work your employees do help determine which gloves are the best PPE choice. These choices include industrial hand gloves, cut-resistant gloves, chemical-resistant gloves, and coated gloves. Protective eyewear – goggles or safety glasses – may also be needed in certain circumstances. Proper training for your employees also works hand in hand with protection PPE to ensure no hand injuries occur while using cutting tools or other sharp objects. Employees should use all equipment and tools in the right way for the right job to prevent hurting the hands or fingers.
Hand Safety Toolbox Talks
Toolbox talks are a great way to discuss particular areas of safety in your workplace. Adding a hand protection toolbox talk is beneficial for any workplace. You’ll want to include the following hazards and how to avoid them in your talk:
- Lacerations and punctures
- Pinches and crushes
- Muscle strain and overuse
- Hazardous surfaces and substances
- Hand smashes or abrasions when carrying objects
- Hand impact from a slip, trip, or fall
- Reaching into machinery or other hazardous areas
Other Hand and Finger Safety Tips
The following preventative tips can help stop hand and finger injuries before they happen:
- Keep workspace floors and surfaces neat and free of debris
- Use quality tools designed with innovative materials and safety in mind
- Store tools properly, especially sharp objects
- Handle tools with care
- Clean up spills immediately
- Encourage the use of brooms, brushes, and dustpans to clean up shavings, dust, debris, or anything else that might lead to a fall or cut
- Take regular breaks from repetitive tasks
- Maintain training and certification on equipment and machinery
- Remove accessories that could get caught in equipment
Remain On Top of Hand Safety
Hanging a hand safety poster in the break room or mentioning a couple of tips during a safety presentation isn’t enough to ensure your employees practice proper hand safety. Get them involved by offering incentives, asking for their thoughts and opinions, having them share personal experiences, and using teamwork or competition. Encourage workers to increase their mindfulness before beginning every task. Mindfulness means that they are present, aware, and thoughtful while working. Every so often, you can remind employees to pause and assess their current level of focus and awareness and how they’ve been using their hands. Asking them to consider their mindfulness can bring them back to focus if they have found their mind wandering or if they have been operating on autopilot.
Hand Down the Importance of Hand Safety
Cuts and lacerations are among the most common workplace injuries because we use our hands for literally everything. But hand and finger injuries are also the easiest to prevent with little focus and effort. If you continue to promote the importance of hand safety, your employees and your business will be happy, hands and all. Extreme Safety Inc. is the oldest and most innovative Safety Service Company in the market, and our “do what it takes” attitude will get you geared up safely and comfortably. Visit us online or call (310) 856-0166 to shop our safety equipment today!