When’s the last time you jammed your finger? Cut it on something sharp? Caught it in a drawer or a piece of equipment?
No one should take occupational hand injuries lightly. They are among the most common in the US workplace, accounting for 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits nationwide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 110,000 workers each year miss work due to finger or hand injuries miss days of work—a group second in size only to workers who lose days of work due to back pain and strain.
It’s good for your workers to prevent hand injury—and it’s good for your business, too. Here’s how.
Prevent On-the-Job Hand Injuries
Planning and training can go a long way toward helping protect your workers’ hands. Try this:
- Review injuries/ incidents reported at your business
- Complete a Physical Hazard Assessment of operations (electric, crush, amputation, caught in, struck by, hot/cold surfaces, laceration, chemical exposure)
- Analyze hazardous chemical use at the business
- Conduct a machine guard program review and inspection
- Review work practices for the hazards, intended to prevent hand injuries
- Review PPE/ tools assigned to each risk type
Once you’re sure you have a thorough understanding of the risks your workers face each day, consider how they can prevent injury due to those risks.
- Encourage your entire workforce to participate in good housekeeping practices to reduce hazards around the business
- Develop procedures to help reduce exposure to hazards (for instance, a hazardous chemical policy or a PPE use policy)
- Offer regular trainings and refresher trainings to ensure workers know when and how to properly use PPE, the proper procedures for working in confined spaces, extreme cold, etc. Encourage workers to report equipment problems promptly (hand injuries often result from equipment not working as expected).
For more than 35 years, Insurance Partners, Inc., has been providing quality protection for individuals, families, and businesses, helping people make sense of their insurance needs so they can look forward to a brighter, more secure future. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, contact us.