16 August 2017

7 Types of Workplace Hand Injury

Our hands consist of 27 bones, including 8 in the wrist, in addition to nerves, tendons, muscles and ligaments. This feat of engineering allows us to carry out everyday tasks and precision movements with minimal effort. 

However, because of the amazing versatility of our hands, they are often exposed to many different hazards in the workplace. The types of possible hand injury for workers include:

1. LACERATIONS & CUTS

Minor injuries of this type can include small scratches or cuts to the surface of the skin, which can be easily treated and are quick to heal. However, if nerves or tendons are severed, the injury can prove much more serious and have permanent consequences.  

To reduce the risk of injury from cut or laceration incidents, users should always wear cut resistant safety gloves when working with sharp objects, tools or machinery.

2. PUNCTURES

These types of injury are most commonly caused by handling sharp objects, machinery or tools (both hand and power varieties). Improper use of such tools and machinery is one of the greatest hazards workers face, resulting in injuries which can often lead to lost days at work and trauma for the individual - both of which can be avoided through proper use and maintenance of tools and machinery.

3. SKIN IRRITATION

Irritations to the skin, such as rashes and blisters, are caused by exposure to hazardous substances or even soaps and detergents. Whilst the symptoms are usually mild, some cases can lead to dermatitis which is an inflammation of the skin. This can sometimes become so severe that the sufferer cannot continue to work. 

Our TG1140 Morphic 1 glove is Sanitized®  and OEKO-TEX Standard 100®  accredited, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin. The Sanitized technology protects the Morphic 1 from bacterial growth and odors, whilst the Standard 100 OEKO-TEX tests for harmful substances. 

4. BURNS

The most common burns that happen in the workplace are thermal, electrical or chemical.

  • Thermal burns occur when the individual is exposed to flames, steam and hot surfaces or liquids.
  • Electrical burns happen when a current passes through the body but meets resistance in the body's tissues, resulting in heat burn injuries.
  • Chemical burns are the result of hazardous substances which cause a chemical change in  the skin. These burns continue to do damage until the chemical is washed away or the chemical reaction is complete.

5. SPRAINS & STRAINS

It may seem counter-intuitive, but many hand injuries actually involve your feet. Employees who slip on surfaces or trip over obstacles will often land heavily on their hands, causing wrist and hand injuries.

Repetitive motion can also lead to problems such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), otherwise known as Upper Limb Disorder (ULD).

6. FRACTURES & BROKEN BONES

When blunt trauma occurs, it is often around moving equipment and machinery. Due to the force and weight usually involved, the consequences of these injuries can be severe, including fractures and broken bones.

Falling from height is another cause of such injuries.

7. AMPUTATIONS

This is the most extreme kind of injury, resulting in loss of all or part of the hand. Nowadays such hand injuries are rare, but not unheard of, and are often caused by crushing due to moving equipment or machinery.

REDUCING THE RISK

Properly selected and used safety gloves are a simple and effective way of reducing risks to hands in the workplace. Our TraffiGlove range offers gloves which provide protection against sharp objects, hot objects, chemical exposure and environmental elements.

To find out more about the different types of gloves we offer and how they could reduce hand injuries throughout your business, please get in touch today.