Hand Injury and Prevention Safety Talk

We use our hands for virtually every task we do at work and because of this fact they are commonly injured on the job. Keeping our hands and fingers out of harm’s way at work is critical. A serious injury to an individual’s hands or fingers results in a huge negative impact on their ability to work and overall quality of life. While gloves are the most common form of PPE found in the workplace, hand injuries are still the second leading type of injury on the job.

Hand Injury Statistics 

  • There are 110,000 lost time cases due to hand injuries annually.
  • 1 million workers are treated in an ER for hand injuries annually.
  • 70% of workers who experienced a hand injury were not wearing gloves.
  • Another 30% of victims had gloves on, but they were damaged or inadequate for the work task.

Three Common Types of Hand Injuries

  1. Lacerations are the most common type of hand injuries. Lacerations are due to sharp objects or tools. Often hand injury and preventioninadequate gloves are used during an activity that involves a sharp tool. A glove with Kevlar is effective in protecting the hand against a cutting or slicing motion. A straight stab motion can still easily penetrate these gloves. Caution needs to be used when using any tool that can easily penetrate the skin.
  2. Crush injuries are usually due to employees placing their hands in the line of fire between two objects or in a rotating piece of equipment. 
  3. Fractures occur when there is a sudden blow to the bones in the fingers or hands. Motor vehicle accidents often cause fractures to the hands. Another common cause of fractures is an individual extending out their hands to catch themselves from a fall.

Safe Work Practices

  • Use tools to remove your hands from the line of fire when doing a work task that could result injury to your hands or fingers. Using tools such as push sticks when using a table saw is an example that removes your hands from the line of fire.
  • Avoid using fixed open blade knives. There are safety knives that limit the length of the blade exposed. They also have a safety feature that retracts the blade when pressure is let off the handle or switch that controls the blade.
  • Never put your hand in an area where you cannot see it.
  • Always wear the proper gloves for whatever work task you are doing. Understand the limitations of your gloves and what work tasks they are appropriate for.
  • Never work on an energized piece of equipment. Lock and tag out the equipment to ensure there will not be unintentional start up while you are working on the equipment.

The Standard PPE List

If you are new to a business, or are just starting out, you might not know what you should be offering as part of this responsibility. The standard personal protective equipment list that ensures you are meeting the needs of your staff, and the legal requirements expected of you as an employer. Read on to find out more.

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment is the first level of protection against injury or illness in the workplace.

What are the laws on personal protective equipment?

The expectation set for employers about PPE is dictated by Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, a law responsible for ensuring the workplace health and safety for employees.

Appropriate training in the use of the equipment should be given, and employees should have free and easy access to the products they need. 

List of personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment refers to products that will protect the user (or wearer) from the health and safety risks posed in the workplace.

Based on this, the PPE you need to introduce into your workplace depends on the hazards posed there. Here we have listed some the most common types of PPE, and the hazards that they can be used to combat.

                                                                                                                                                                   

Head protection

Products include: Safety helmets, hard hats and bump Cap

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Falling objects
  • Head injury when working in close confines
  • Electric shock during electrical work

                                                                                                                                                                   

Eye protection

Products include: Safety gogglesoverglasses, and safety glasses.

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Airborne dust and debris
  • Chemical splashes
  • Impact hazards

                                                                                                                                                                   

Face protection

Products include: Browguards and face shield

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Chemical splashes
  • Splashes from molten metal
  • Impact hazards

                                                                                                                                                                   

Hearing protection

Products include: Reusable ear plugsdisposable ear plugs, ear defender, and clarity ear muff 

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Damage to hearing from noise exposure of all types, including:
  • Machinery
  • Equipment

                                                                                                                                                                   

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

Products include: Disposable respiratorshalf masks and full face masks and reuseable respirators

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Airborne dust and debris
  • Airborne solvents
  • Exposure to areas of low oxygen levels

                                                                                                                                                                   

Hand protection

Products include: Gloves to suit different hazards, including gloves and heat-resistant gloves

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Contact with chemical hazards
  • Heat and burns
  • Injury through manual handling
  • Injury from machinery vibrations

                                                                                                                                                                   

Safety footwear

Products include: Work boots and  safety shoes

Types of health and safety risk they combat:

  • Corrosive or irritating substances
  • Electric shock during electrical work

                                                                                                                                                                   

Questions to ask when creating your PPE list

Before making your final decisions on the best PPE for your workplace, make sure to ask the following questions:

  • Is it fully-adjustable to fit the wearer correctly?
  • Does the PPE create any other health and safe issues that need to be accounted for?
  • Is it compatible with the other types of PPE that should be worn?
  • Does the PPE allow the wearer or user to do their job safely and effectively?
  • Is the PPE also suitable for the working environment, whilst also dealing with the health and safety issues?

We hope you have found our PPE list useful, and that it guides you towards making the best decision for your workplace. If you have any further queries about choosing the correct PPE for your employees, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to advise.

The correct gloves for the correct chemicals

It’s important to ensure that you have adequate protection when handling chemicals that are potentially hazardous to your health. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right gloves to handle the different chemical applications and hazards.

Some of the most common workplace injuries involve the hands. This is unsurprising as they are the part of the body responsible for carrying out the work. However, as anyone who has ever had a hand injury can tell you, hand injuries can be the most painful and take the longest to heal, which means down time from work and a drop in productivity.

Injured hands account for up to 45% off all workplace accidents and it is estimated that at least 60% of those injuries could have been avoided with the correct protection. So what can you do to avoid such injuries? It starts with simply wearing the correct gloves.

Continue reading “The correct gloves for the correct chemicals”

Prioritise Hand Protection in the Workplace

Hand safety starts with knowing the risks of injury in the workplace, and how to prevent them. Here’s our quick guide to hand protection.

Why are hand injuries so serious?

Work-related hand injuries are one of the main reasons workers end up in the emergency room. Whether it’s damage to the nerves in your fingers and hands, losing a finger, a burn to the skin or an allergic reaction, injury to your hands can negatively impact the quality of your work and your ability to be productive. Worst case scenario, it can end your career and detract from your overall quality of life.

How are hand injuries caused?

Think about it like this: how many times have you touched a surface only to discover it’s hot? Felt pain in your hand because of how you gripped a tool or twisted your wrist while working? Come close to having your hand or finger caught or crushed by the tools you were using? How many times have you come into skin contact with chemicals or caustic substances?

If you can think of even one time any of these scenarios took place, it’s one time too many – you were lucky to walk away uninjured and you might not be as fortunate the next time.

Continue reading “Prioritise Hand Protection in the Workplace”

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to protect workers from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, and safety shoes, protective equipment includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs, and respirators.

Continue reading “PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT”

How automation improved the world’s biggest chemicals producer

Well, at this particular BASF site, they run chemical batch processes where they put a bunch of chemicals together, they cook it and then they do purity measurements on the particular product.

If the product isn’t pure enough or the chemical bindings aren’t strong enough, they cook longer and add additional additives until they are. That’s not an uncommon process in the chemical world.

They ran for five days in a row and would shut down over the weekend, when they would do their clean-up. So that’s 24 hours a day, five days a week, 120 hours of uptime in total.

They had a 40 hour cook cycle and could get three cooks in in that time period. Then things started to get out of hand and a cook cycle would take 45 hours. If the second cook also took 45 hours then you didn’t have enough time before they shut down to get the third one in. Continue reading “How automation improved the world’s biggest chemicals producer”

How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace

Lots of us have probably experienced a toxic employer at some point in our lives. I had a boss many years ago who would lash out at colleagues and me during staff meetings with little provocation, putting everyone on edge. Yet he was also hailed among higher-ups as someone who got the job done. So, should we have just put up and shut up?

According to the new book Mastering Civility by management professor Christine Porath, the answer is absolutely not. Porath makes a clear and compelling case that rudeness and incivility in the workplace do more damage than good to work relationships and efficiency, soundly dispelling the myth of the hard-nosed-yet-effective boss. Instead, she argues, we would do well to practice civility at work. Continue reading “How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace”

Safety at hand: Use the right glove for proper protection

The workplace can create many hazards for your hands, whether from chemicals, cuts or burns. No single glove can provide appropriate protection for every work situation, so it is important to assess the risk for each task and select a glove that provides specialized protection.

The following is a list of gloves and their appropriate application, according to the National Safety Council: Continue reading “Safety at hand: Use the right glove for proper protection”