Think of how often you use your hands during your work shift. Take time to protect your hands, wrists and fingers to avoid injuries that can be painful, costly or require lengthy rehabilitation by knowing the hazards and taking precautions. Here’s what you need to know.
Know the Hazards
Throughout the day, your hands come in contact with a multitude of hazards presented by hand trucks, forklifts and other pinch points. They are also in danger any time you handle knives, box cutters or other sharp objects.
To avoid suffering from a hand, wrist or finger injury, you must learn how to recognize potential hazards and then immediately take the proper steps to avoid them. Consider the following recommendations while on the job:
- Develop a “safety first” attitude and take time to familiarize yourself with the hazards in your working environment.
- Know what others are doing around you, and familiarize yourself with all equipment, even if you don’t use it.
- Concentrate on the task at hand, even when you’re frustrated or when there are distractions.
- Use common sense and remain alert for unexpected problems. Always be wary of possible hazards.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or an appropriate tool if you have a heavy or awkward load to lift.
Use the Right Gear
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to shield your body from hazards. Since the hands, wrists and fingers are so susceptible to injuries, there are many varieties of PPE to choose from.
- Select gloves that are appropriate for the task at hand. Make sure they fit correctly. Gloves that are too big can get caught in moving parts when hand trucks are turning, and gloves that are too small wear out easily.
- Leather gloves provide protection from bruises and cuts. Cut-resistant gloves offer shielding from sharp-edged tools. Finger guards protect against pinch hazards.