A Helping Hand….
Hand Safety – Avoiding Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries
Whether you’re a machine operator, a lab technician, a maintenance worker, any kind of worker for that matter, your hands are one of your most important “instruments.” Yet, over a quarter of a million people suffer serious (and often disabling) hand injuries each year. By recognizing hand hazards, following established safety guidelines, and using protective guards, shields, gloves, and other personal protective devices as needed, you can save your hands from injury and yourself from unnecessary disability.
Recognizing Hand Hazards
One of the most serious yet common causes of hand injury is the use of unprotected or faulty machinery or equipment. Failure to use push-sticks, guards, kill-switches, or to follow appropriate lock-out procedures are among the leading industrial hand hazards. Wearing jewelry, improper gloves, or loose-fitting clothing around moving parts can also lead to injury. Chemicals, corrosives, and other irritating substances can cause burns and skin inflammation unless appropriate hand protection is used. Temperature extremes and electrical hazards are other common causes of hand injuries. In addition, constant, repetitive motion (as in assembly-line work or painting) can cause undue stress on the wrists and hands unless protective measures are taken.
The following list provides a guideline for hand safety that can help you protect your hands from injury and disability.
Hand Protection Checklist
1. Be alert to potential hand hazards before an accident can happen. Look for potential hazards! Be alert to possible unguarded pinch points.
2. Always use push-sticks, guards, shields, and other protective devices when appropriate.
3. Use the appropriate personal protective equipment–gloves, guards, forearm cuffs, barrier creams–for the specific task you are performing.
4. Avoid putting your fingers or hands into areas of pinch point, crush, or cutting.
At home, work or play, it’s Safety every day! Safety Always!