Hand injuries are the second most commonly observed workplace hazard. According to the research conducted by the American Society of Safety in 2015 that involved a survey with 400 professionals, two out of five workplace injuries are hand injuries resulting from cuts and abrasions. Hand injuries can be costly for industries, as they cause loss of man hours as well as employee compensation if the company provides insurance facility.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand certain basics related to hand injuries. Most of the injuries happen in oil, gas, construction, and manufacturing industries. It is possible to prevent injuries that can be sustained at home and in the workplace.
These 5 basic steps can be easily implemented in a hand safety program:
- Ensure awareness among workers.
Workers need to be constantly alert during work. For a routine task, it is quite possible that one becomes complacent and less aware of the occupational hazards around them. It may be a hammer, knife or chemicals they use. Staying aware, not only hand-related, but other injuries can be prevented.
- Minimize exposure to hazards in the workplace.
Job hazard analysis is a simple way to ensure a smaller number of accidents in the workplace. It can be worked out by identifying key areas where there is possibility of accidents and working out to eliminate those hazards by installing guards, modifying and isolating hazards. You can start looking for personal protective equipment like Industrial Gloves and Disposable Oversleeves to prevent any potential hazards.
- Mandate using industrial gloves during working hours.
Although it is not possible to eliminate all job hazards, we could minimize the risk by wearing hand safety gear such as protective gloves. However, safety engineers must ensure choosing the right safety gloves based on the type of job and workplace conditions as improper selection may lead to more dangerous results. For example, wearing cut-resistant gloves to accomplish electrical tasks may prove risky and disastrous.
- Train your workers on the use of hand protections
Once you are done with the selection of hand protections, it is important to train workers on proper procedures to prevent workplace injuries. The training should focus on using the equipment, its limitations and proper use of safety gloves. Also, basic information of which type of glove suffices which kind of protection must be provided.
Employees must also be aware of the signs of their gloves being damaged and when they require replacement.
- Ensure proper care of the gloves
Gloves must be stored and disposed in a proper way to be able to serve their purpose well. This is an important step as it improper care of the gloves may also lead to injuries.