How often do you use your hands in the workplace? Whether it’s data entry or operating heavy machinery, your hands are involved almost every step of the way! Hand injuries make up for 80% of all workplace injuries, and the grand majority of this percentage could be prevented with the right measures. No matter what industry you work in, your hands are by far the most important tool you have. This blog will go over the importance of promoting hand safety at work and what you can do to reduce the chances of sustaining a hand injury.
One’s hands are an irreplaceable tool in any job site. Whether the injury is significant or minuscule, a hand injury will affect both the person and the worksite. It will mean hours, days, or weeks of lost production and work time, not to mention the injured worker’s pain and aggravation. Fortunately, hand and finger injuries are pretty easy to avoid. So what can you do to prevent these hand injuries? Read below to see how.
Use the Proper PPE
One doesn’t have control of all factors and can’t magically make people think a certain way. The best way you prevent hand injuries is by providing workers the proper personal protective equipment for the job. The most common form of hand PPE are gloves. There are different types of gloves for different types of hazards. For example, there are gloves that protect hands from punctures, chemicals, burns, or cuts. Whatever the task is, be sure to get the correct safety gloves for it. Take into consideration the industry, the work environment, and the type of work the workers are doing. Common types of PPE for hands include:
- Disposable gloves – Best for one-time users and provide minimal protection against materials and chemicals.
- Chemical-resistant gloves – Protects hands from hazardous chemicals and liquids.
- Cut-resistant gloves – Protects hands from cuts and scrapes caused by knives and other sharp tools and equipment.
- Anti-vibration/impact gloves – Protection from vibration or impact from tools and equipment which helps prevent hand, finger, and arm fatigue.
- Temperature-resistant gloves – Provides hands with protection from high or low temperatures.
- Electrical gloves – Voltage-rated gloves provide protection against shock hazards.
Have Safety Toolbox Talks
A toolbox talk is an informal group discussion that focuses on a particular safety issue. Hosting a toolbox talk with your employees is an excellent way to introduce hand protection conservation and inform workers on the hazards and how they can prevent them. Hazards that you should highlight and discuss how to prevent include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Muscle strain and overuse
- Hazardous substances
- Hand abrasions/smashes when carrying objects
- Hand impact form slips, trips, or falls
- Reaching into heavy machinery or other hazardous areas
Get Workers Involved
Hanging a safety poster in the break room or giving a one-time presentation on hand safety isn’t enough to keep this topic in the minds of the workers. It’s essential to set the example and frequently mention the topic. The more employees hear about it, the more likely they’ll absorb the message. Get them involved by offering incentives, asking them for their opinions/thoughts, and having them share personal experiences. Be sure to deliver the message of:
- Using the proper safety equipment when performing a job
- Paying attention and being aware at all times
- Inspecting the work area and tools for safety hazards
- Keeping the workplace floors clean and free of clutter
- Take regular breaks from repetitive tasks
- Speak up when they notice a safety hazard
No matter what job you’re doing or in what industry you work at, your hands will always be an essential tool. Hand injuries are the most common type of injury in the workplace, and reducing the number of hand injuries on the job should be everyone’s goal. We hope this blog helped you see the importance of promoting hand safety at work and what you can do to reduce the chances of such injuries from occurring. If you’re looking to get quality hand protection equipment for your workers, Extreme Safety has got you covered. We have a wide variety of hand PPE for all kinds of hazards! Give us a call at (310) 856-0166 or click here.