Whilst hand injuries may not always be devastating, they're a painful and often too common part of working in hazardous environments. From burns to cuts, lacerations to sliced fingers, over 70% of hand injuries occur when the individual is not wearing a glove. For some, Health and Safety boils down to keeping your fingers crossed and hoping there'll never be any serious injuries on your site. Or, if there is, maybe you're relying on your instincts kicking in so you'll know immediately what to do.
While instincts certainly play a part, it's important to know the basic steps to take in reaction to a safety incident. This won't only save you time and money but, more importantly, it may help you save a life!
Priority one should be getting the appropriate type of help as quickly as possible - it's important to know when you need a professional involved. In the event of an emergency, call 999. In non-emergency situations, a first-aid representative on site should treat the injury and then, if required, arrange transport to a medical care facility.
Depending on the seriousness of the accident, the site may need to be closed off quickly in order for investigations to take place. Other employees may need to be evacuated calmly. The equipment and materials which were involved in the accident need to be noted.
After you’ve ensured your employees are safe and in good care, and the scene of the accident is secured, the next step is to make a record of the accident. Every company should keep an accident book where all injuries should be recorded.
For any accident which will keep an employee off work for more than 7 days, you're legally obliged to report to the Health and Safety Department of your local authority. Click here for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approved form for reporting work-related injury.
Many injuries involving hands can result in weeks out of action for the victim. Understandably, it can be hard for an employee to return to his or her job after these long periods away.
Managers should be encouraged to implement a return-to-work or transitional modified job program to help such employees become productive again as quickly and safely as possible. This can help keep workers from taking long-term disability leave and also lower costs for the employer.
Analysis: How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?
A serious accident in your company might highlight the need to revisit current risk assessments and carry out a thorough evaluation. This will help you work out what needs to be done to improve current procedures. Was the machinery faulty, was there a lack of awareness/training available to the employee?
For those who have not yet completed a proper risk assessment for their company, HSE has a risk assessment and policy template.
WE'RE HERE TO HELP
Our hand safety specialists are happy to discuss any issues you have on site and arrange a visit if you're looking to improve your glove range and increase safety awareness amongst staff. Sound good?
Get in touch with our team today and start reducing hand injuries in your business