Scrapes, Cuts, and Pinches – Poor Hands
Hand injuries account for a large majority of occupational injuries which makes sense because the hands are engaged in almost all activities on the job. Can you think of any occupation that does not make use of the hand? Hands are so important because of their utility. They provide us with the dexterity needed to perform most daily activities. In fact, hands, as tools, are so versatile they can perform more tasks than any other tool you may own.
There are many dangerous conditions on the job to which the hand is regularly exposed. For example, sharp edges, pinch points, protruding objects, splinters, exposed blades, unguarded machinery and many more. These conditions may not always be obvious to the working person.
Pinch points can cause serious hand injury if a person is not careful. When dealing with moving parts or loads that could shift be sure to take precautions to keep your hands clear of danger. Make sure you use tag lines, push rods and mechanical lock outs to prevent injury.
Cuts, bruises, burns and poking. Handling sharp objects, rough materials and splinters without the necessary hand protection are invitations for hand injury.
Thermal or Chemical Hazard. From cold steel, a hot bearing or cleaning solvents, be aware of the potential for hot or cold burns.
A necessary precaution is to ensure appropriate work gloves are available to you and worn as needed. Not all gloves protect you from all hand injuries. Part of your hazard assessment should be identifying what type of gloves will suit the task.
Ensure you have the right glove for the task before using them.
More precautions to take to reduce injury are:
- Lockout machinery and power before reaching into them.
- Check and clear doorways and aisles and make sure you have proper hand clearance before you move loads through, also at the end make sure to secure your gates and doors.
- Do not wear rings or wedding bands when working with machinery.
- Do not pick up broken glass or spilled machine parts with your bare hands.
Remember your hands will obey any commands your brain sends them. So think safety first, avoid dangers and protect your hands – You Need Them.