Hand injuries occur frequently, but 70.9% could have been prevented through the use of safety gloves, with 70 percent of workers don’t wear hand protection, and of those who do, 30 percent don’t wear the right kind of glove for the task. We're taking a look at some typical types of hand injuries and how they could be prevented by wearing the right protection.
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The most frequent type of injury, minor cuts to the fingers or hands can occur in a number of ways. This engineer cut his finger on the edge of a bolt head on a faulty air-conditioning unit. The cut was small and required only minimal first aid, but even minor cuts still cause pain to the employee and lost time to the employer.
To protect from small cuts and scrapes, you would need to supply cut level A gloves. Cut level A is tested using 2 Newtons of force and should only be used for tasks that are low cut risks to the handler, such as general product handling, warehouse and assembly line work, and some low risk construction jobs.
In some workplaces, workers have to deal with components that are very hot. This can lead to burns if not properly protected. The severity of burns depend on the circumstances, but many types cause scarring which can be harrowing for the person involved.
Hand protection for these tasks should be certified under the EN407 standard - tested to protect against thermal risk.
When deeper cuts occur, the repercussions can be more serious. This subcontractor was stripping cable insulation for connection in a control box using a fixed bladed knife. When the knife slipped, the subcontractor cut deeply into their thumb. This injury required treatment at hospital.
When there is a higher cut risk we advise increasing cut protection to a level B and above (Amber and green gloves).
Oftentimes, employees will have to perform tasks that put their wrists and forearms at risk. For example, carrying large sheets of metal that need to balance on the wrist, which is what this contractor did. As the sheet of metal moved, it sliced into the skin on his wrist and caused a laceration that required stitches and time off work.
For when protection is needed on the wrist and forearms Traffi offers the TG5150 which features an extended cuff design to maximize forearm and wrist protection.
This operative got his middle finger caught in a heavy automotive battery and sliced through the skin on his middle finger. This type of injury can cause long lasting repercussions to the dexterity of the individual and a large amount of time away from work, which comes at a cost to the business.
For work where the risk to the safety of the hands is significant, a high level of cut protection is needed.
The above examples may seem extreme, but just one moment of dropped concentration, and the wrong hand protection or no hand protection at all, can lead to long-lasting consequences and large costs to a businesses' time and employees' health.