Hand injuries account for 80 percent of all occupational injuries. This is because the hands are engaged in almost all activities on the job. Can you imagine 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 and can perform many intricate functions more than any single known tool developed by man.
No wonder hands are highly useful on our jobs. There are many dangerous conditions on the job to which the hand is always exposed. Sharp edges, pinch points, protruding objects, splinters, exposed blades on unguarded machinery and many more. These conditions may not always be too obvious to the working person.
Pinch points are basically traps for the hand especially. Doors may pinch your fingers if you get them caught in a jam. Paying attention and being aware of their existence helps us to avoid pinch points. We also need to take the proper precautions to avoid being pinched.
Our hands are also subject to cuts, bruises, burns and poking. Handling sharp objects, hot objects, rough materials and splinters without the necessary hand protection are sure signs of invitation for hand injury. A necessary precaution to take is to wear approved work gloves. Not all gloves protect you from all hand injuries. Check the appropriateness of the glove for the task before using them. Precautions must still be taken to reduce the level of danger before handling very dangerous material. Lockout machinery and power before reaching into them. Check and clear doorways and aisles and make sure you have proper head clearance before you move loads through.
Machines are guarded to avoid accidental exposure of its moving parts to the hands and parts of the body. Make sure machines are guarded at all times. 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. Use your brain. Avoid dangers and protect your hands. You need them as long as you live.