How to Prevent Hand Injuries in the Workplace

How to Prevent Hand Injuries in the Workplace

Posted on 04/21/2023

Most hand injuries occur suddenly, with the results either long-term or permanent. Prioritizing hand safety is vital in any workplace. Millions of people suffer hand injuries each year. Some people lose a hand, while others need surgery or develop infections.

Ensuring that workers remain safe requires training and proper planning. Providing the right tools and putting safeguards around objects and machines that can cause injuries is essential.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing PPEs is one of the best ways to prevent hand injuries in the workplace. Wearing gloves is essential when working in certain environments or with certain equipment. It is necessary to choose proper protective equipment for the job. There are different types of gloves designed to protect against various potential risks. They include heat-resistant, nonconductive, cut-resistant, and chemical gloves.


Implementing Administrative Controls

Implementing administrative controls to prevent hand injuries in the workplace is crucial. It may not always be possible to implement engineering controls. Training the team will help prevent injuries.

Administrative controls include:


  • Placing warning signs

  • Providing safety training

  • Using lock and tag rules

Other control measures are product substitution and design following ergonomic principles.


Implementing Engineering Controls

Engineering controls can reduce the risk of hazards while using the equipment. A built-in safety system can prevent hand injuries when using machines.

Engineering controls include:


  • Emergency stop devices

  • Machine safety guards

  • Ergonomic tools

  • Electrical proximity limiting devices

Engineering controls can protect hands from rotating parts, sharp objects, and other hazards. Using the right tools helps place less strain on the fingers, hands, and wrists.


Effective Safety Training

Ensuring that workers are properly trained will help prevent injuries. Injury prevention information and campaign materials should be readily available in the workplace. Employers must ensure that all workers know the tools and equipment around them.

They must also know how to use them correctly. Training must go beyond verbal communication; it should involve action. Putting the training into action is a more effective way to instruct.


Clean and Safe Work Environment

When people trip or fall, they use their hands to break the fall. This can lead to hand injuries. Slipping on a wet floor or tripping on objects on the floor can lead to hand injuries. Keeping the work environment clean and free of hazards can help reduce injuries.

Removing trip-inducing items from walkways and keeping the floors free of spillage is essential. Knives and other sharp objects should be properly stored to prevent injuries. Many injuries are caused by human error due to complacency or distraction.

Do not forget to remove jewelry or deactivate safety features. Always wear protective gloves to prevent dire consequences. Many hand injuries experienced in the workplace are preventable. This can be done through the correct use of PPEs and by changing worker behavior. Regular employee training helps avoid potential hazards.

For more on preventing hand injuries in the workplace, visit East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our Oakland, California office. Call 510.904.1100 to schedule an appointment today.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.