In Good Hands | Hand Protection in the Workplace

Hand injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries. Over one million hand injuries occur each year and approximately 20% of all disabling workplace injuries involve the hands.

Although OSHA requires in 29 CFR 1910.138 that employers provide employees with hand protection for hazards, employees should educate themselves about the types of hazards in the workplace and ensure proper protection is in place.

Many different types of hand injuries can occur on the job and result in injuries ranging in seriousness from minor to life-changing:

  • Lacerations;
  • Tears;
  • Punctures;
  • Burns from heat sources or chemicals;
  • Finger or hand amputation;
  • Fractures;
  • Crushing injuries;
  • Vibration hazards;
  • Thermal hazards.

A severe hand injury could result in a lower quality of life and an individual being unable to work and provide for their family. The best way to prevent hand injuries is to properly protect your hands from hazards. Below are some general safety tips to help you protect your hands at work:

  • Avoid any procedures that are not safe.
  • Ensure your work area is clean and free from potential dangers. Cluttered spaces can make dangers more difficult to recognize.
  • Use machine guards as designed by the manufacturer to limit your risks.
  • Report any problems with equipment or machine safeguards right away.
  • When selecting safety gloves, consider the need for dexterity to perform the job and the types of workplace hazards that are present.
  • Ensure safety gloves fit properly. Loose gloves can get caught in equipment or allow hazards to reach your skin.
  • Avoid wearing gloves when they can get caught in machinery and increase the risk of injury.
  • Inspect gloves for damage prior to use and replace when needed.
  • Don’t reach your hands into areas where you can’t see the potential hazards.
  • Remove rings and bracelets prior to work.
  • Each time job duties are changed, re-evaluate whether the proper hand protection is in place.

Nearly all hand injuries are avoidable when the proper safety precautions are taken and hand protection is used. Take the time to review the current hazards and safety measures in your workplace and make it a priority to address any concerns.

Date Posted: 02-01-2017
Tags: hand protection, hand safety, osha safety topics, osha workplace safety, personal protective equipment, ppe safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,