Preventing Hand Injuries

Hand injuries are the second leading cause of work-related injury. Slips, trips, and falls get a lot of OSHA attention, as fall protection is the most frequently violated standard. But hand injuries remain one of the most common work-related injuries, and for that reason alone, warrant a substantial investment in protection.

Wearing gloves has been proven to reduce the risk of hand injury by 60%. After hearing the vast number of hand injuries occurring in the workplace each year, it’s hard to imagine that these are one of the most preventable types of workplace injury. Approximately 84,000 of the 140,000 hand injuries in a given year could have been easily averted.

Seventy percent of workers who experience hand injuries are not wearing gloves at the time of the incident, and what’s the easiest method of prevention for workplace hand injuries? You guessed it: gloves. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than two-thirds of workers who experience hand injuries are not wearing gloves when the incident occurs.

Furthermore, the remaining 30% of workers who suffered hand injuries—the ones who were wearing gloves at the time of the injury—weren’t wearing the right type. Maybe the level of cut protection was inadequate or they weren’t protected from the chemicals they were encountering. Maybe they needed higher levels of flame or heat resistance. Whatever the case, this stat clearly shows that wearing protective gloves doesn’t do any good if they’re not the right kind for the job.

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