This article provides an overview of the most dangerous hazards for the hands and an introduction to hand safety practices.
Published 26 May 2023
Hand safety is the practice of taking precautions to protect your hands from injuries and hazards. There are many potential risks to your hands, including cuts, burns, and exposure to harmful substances. Taking proper hand safety precautions can help prevent hand injuries and keep your hands healthy.
You may not think about it, but your hands are constantly in use when you’re working. From gripping a tool to typing on a keyboard, your hands take a beating day in and day out.
That’s why it’s so important to protect them! Hand safety is all about preventing injuries, and the best way to do that is by using the right equipment and following the proper safety procedures.
There are all sorts of hazards in the workplace, and if you’re not careful, you can easily get injured. Cuts and scrapes are the most common injuries, but there are also cases of more serious injuries like burns and amputations.
So take the time to learn about hand safety and make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself from harm. Your hands will thank you!
It’s essential to be aware of the hand hazards in your workplace and take steps to protect yourself from them. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 102,350 cases of hand injuries alone, making it the highest total number among the other body part injuries.
Some of the most common hand hazards are:
Pinch points are areas where the hands can become caught and pinched between two moving parts of a machine or between the material being processed and the machine itself. Below are some of the devices that have hazardous pinch points:
These are spots or areas that, when touched, can cause injuries due to their extreme temperature. For example, machinery hotspots, which are located in equipment such as injection molders and welding tools, can inflict severe burns on the hands.
Meanwhile, extremely cold temperatures and surfaces, such as transfer pipes in refrigeration systems, pose the same level of danger and can also cause severe burns.
These are machines or equipment that use rotating motions to function. Some examples include spindles, clutches, and fans. These are considered hazards, as most of the time loose-fitting gloves can be accidentally caught inside the rotating parts, along with the worker’s hands, causing injuries in the process.
Machines programmed to automatically start on their own are considered a hazard. Workers may be caught off guard and injure their hands when the machine begins to start on its own.
Entanglement is when a piece of your clothing or jewelry gets caught in moving machinery. This results in pulling your finger or entire hand inside the machine.
Other common hand injuries include:
There are a few basic rules of hand safety that everyone should know. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the standard numbers 1910.138(a) and 1910.138(b) must be followed when exposed to hand hazards in the workplace.
You can also follow some of these guidelines to keep your hands safe and injury-free:
There are a variety of ways you can keep your hands safe in your workplace, depending on the type of work you do. As a general practice, here are a few key things to keep in mind when practicing hand safety:
Additionally, here are some hand safety tips to keep in mind when working under specific conditions:
You will need to take extra precautions to protect your hands by using specific kinds of gloves such as neoprene, nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves. These gloves are designed to resist harmful chemicals that may come in contact with our skin.
Make sure you are using the proper safety equipment, such as gloves or guards made from metal mesh, kevlar, and tough synthetic yarn for extra protection. Be sure to follow all safety procedures such as keeping your hands away from moving parts and being extra careful when using power tools.
You will need to wear non-conductive gloves to protect your hands from low-voltage electricity.
It is recommended to wear sterile or non-surgical gloves (rubber gloves) to protect your hands from blood-borne substances that can be harmful to you.
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
It’s essential to have regular toolbox talks to remind workers about the importance of hand safety. Because let’s face it, when we’re working with our hands all day, it’s easy to get lax about safety.
That’s why it’s so important to have a regular reminder of the hazards we face and how to avoid them. A toolbox talk is a great way to do that.
In a toolbox talk, you can discuss specific safety hazards that are relevant to the work that your staff is doing and talk about how to avoid them. You can also discuss the personal protective equipment (PPE) that they can wear and how to use it effectively.
It’s important to keep in mind that no one is immune to accidents. So always be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the most common cause of hand injuries is home accidents and falls.
Gloves included in PPE work attire are usually used for hand protection.
The two main types of gloves are reusable safety gloves and disposable safety gloves.
The most common hand injury is a severed fingertip, followed by hand, finger, and wrist fractures.
When it comes to ensuring hand safety in the workplace, SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) is a great tool to use. That's because the app makes it easy to track and manage hand safety inspections. Plus, it has a ton of Public Library templates that are perfect for hand safety audits.
With SafetyCulture, you can create custom checklists, Train employees on proper hand safety and hygiene practices, raise hand safety issues, track corrective actions, and generate reports to help you identify patterns and trends in commonly occurring hand injuries. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, so you can access it wherever you go.
Shella Marie Ang
Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.
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