We use our hands for our everyday tasks such as holding, grasping, feeling, and manipulating things. Hands are essential for any type of workplace, especially for the industrial workforce. Those jobs require constant use of the hands, which is why it is essential that you protect them. There are many different types of hazards that can injure your hands. This blog will go over the top 3 hazards to your hands and how to protect against them.

Because hands are engaged in almost all job activities, hands are at high risk of injury in the workplace. Some tasks bring more risks than others, which is why it is essential that you follow the right safety measures and wear the proper personal protective equipment to perform the job. The major hazards your hands can face while performing tasks include:

1. Sharp Objects

When it comes to jobs that require the use of cutting tools on a regular basis, it is important to be attentive and focused on what you’re doing all the time. Things you can do to protect against getting cut from sharp objects include:

  • Using the right PPE – When using cutting tools, it’s important to wear gloves, safety footwear, and protective clothing. For some situations, protective vests and chaps are also a good idea. Protective clothing made of leather or steel-reinforced fabric is a great way to protect against getting a serious cut injury while handling sharp objects on the job. Wearing the proper PPE for the job can make a difference between life or death
  • Choose the right tool for the job – Make sure that the tool you’re using is the proper one for the task being performed. Using incorrect tools can cause injuries
  • Inspect tools before each use – Make sure the tools are sharp, in good condition, and free of nicks or other types of defects. Look for split wood in the handle and any looseness around the blade
  • Store the tools in their proper place – Make sure that you store sharp tools in a place where people can’t accidentally cut themselves. These items should be isolated from other working tools

Top 3 Hazards to Your Hands (And How to Protect Against Them)

2. Pinch Points

Pinch points refer to any situation where the hand or finger(s) get caught between two objects. Paying attention to pinch points and being aware of them can help prevent these types of injuries. Things you can do to protect against pinch points include:

  • Paying attention to what you’re doing – Always be attentive to everything you’re handling at all times
  • Being aware of scenarios – When attaching any type of equipment, be mindful that this could also shift or that the attachment may not lock into place. Use tools to keep your hands away from the pinch points
  • Keeping hands clear – When rigging anything, make sure your hands are clear before tightening. Wear appropriate and properly fitted leather or rigging gloves
  • Using handles – Cabinets, vehicle doors, and drawers are overlooked common pinch points. Remember to always use the handles to open/close them

3. Repetitive Stress Hazards

When it comes to jobs that require repetitive movements, it can disable you in the long run. Repetitive stress can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a painful condition of the hand and fingers. The symptoms progress from slight discomfort to severe pain and eventually to the inability to use your hands. Not taking care of it can lead you to the point where you’re no longer able to work. Things you can do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Relaxing your wrist – Try keeping your wrist in a relaxed, straight, “neutral” position while working. Try to avoid bending your wrist when doing repetitive tasks
  • Taking regular breaks – Take short breaks every now and then to rest your hands. If possible, try to organize your work so that your tasks vary throughout your shift
  • Avoiding placing force on your hands – Avoid placing force on your hands, particularly when your wrist is bent

Top 3 Hazards to Your Hands (And How to Protect Against Them)

The best personal protective equipment you can have to protect your hands are gloves. Great gloves you can wear to protect your hand from hazards include:

It’s difficult to be 100% attentive to what you’re doing at work all the time; however, paying attention to the tasks that could potentially be hazardous while taking regular breaks can make all the difference! Wearing the right personal protective equipment is an essential aspect of preventing hand injuries. We hope this blog helped you understand the top 3 hazards to your hands and how to protect against them. To purchase personal protective equipment to protect your hands from potential hazards, give Extreme Safety a call at 310-856-0166 or visit our website.