Hand injuries account for approximately 80 percent of all occupational injuries as our hands are used for almost all activities on the job. How many occupation are there that do not make use of our hands? Hands provide us with the dexterity needed to perform most daily activities. Hands are so versatile that they perform many intricate functions more so than any single known tool developed by man.

There are many dangerous conditions on the job to which the hand is always exposed. Sharp edges, pinch points, protruding objects, splinters, exposed blades on unguarded machinery and many more. These conditions may not always be too obvious to the working person.

Pinch points are basically traps for the hand. A common one is doors that may pinch your fingers if you get them caught in a jam (hint: grab the door handle, not the door edge). Paying attention and being aware of their existence helps us to avoid pinch points. We also need to take the proper precautions to avoid being pinched.

Our hands are also subject to cuts, bruises, burns and poking. Handling sharp objects, hot objects, rough materials and splinters without the necessary hand protection are sure signs of invitation for hand injury. A necessary precaution to take is to wear approved work gloves that are appropriate for the task at hand (no pun intended). Gloves alone may not protect you from all hand injuries. PPE is the last line defense!  Follow precautions for material handling, LOTO machinery and power before working on them, check and clear doorways, aisles and other entryways to make sure you have proper head and load clearance.

Make sure machines are guarded at all times to avoid accidental exposure of its moving parts to the hands and parts of the body.  Do not wear jewelry of any kind when working with machinery. Picking up any broken glass, machine parts or cut material with your bare hands is a very high risk activity. Avoid dangers, protect your hands and do not rely on PPE.

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