Hand injuries are among the most underestimated and neglected injuries in the workplace. Every year, thousands of American workers suffer hand injuries, and those injuries can be serious enough to result in days out of work, reduced productivity, or even disability.
A new website developed by the Center for Construction Research and Training helps workers take matters into their own hands to prevent such work injuries. The site, Choose Hand Safety, provides information for construction workers, who are at an especially high risk of hand injuries. The website offers resources and suggests simple and basic steps to prevent hand injuries while working.
Workers in manual jobs may be vulnerable to sprains, strains or fractures of the hand. The hand is a complex mechanism of interconnected bones, nerves and tendons to allow incredible dexterity. A worker with an injured hand may be unable to perform the activity that he or she had been doing.
Some common hand injuries include cuts, wounds, muscle strains, sprains, nerve damage, strained tendons and burns. Workers may suffer skin disorders of the hand from contact with chemicals, solvents and other irritants.
The website stresses the use of the right tools to avoid hand injuries and provides information on how to measure your hand and what to look for in hand tools.
Very often, strains, sprains and even stress fractures result from the use of the wrong tools. A tool must have the right-sized handle to help you work efficiently while reducing the risk of fatigue and repetitive stress.
The website also provides guidance for workers on how to select the right gloves to prevent hand injuries and diseases. Workers who must handle chemicals and solvents need gloves that are appropriate for the specific the tasks and materials they are handling.