In many jobs around the world, the use of your hands is crucial. But, as vital as they might be for you to complete your work, around 40% of workplace accidents involve a worker’s hands, with a whopping 70% of hand injuries occurring because workers have removed their safety gloves. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take hand safety seriously, and ensure their employees are trained up in the areas they need to be.
Accidents of this nature can often result in people having to remain off work for an extended period of time or worse, force them to stop working altogether. But what can we do to make sure we’re operating as safely as possible in the workplace?
What are the most common injuries?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) governing body, among some of the most common injuries are slips, trips or falls, handling, lifting or carrying and being struck by a moving object. Many of these could result in hand injuries or injuries to many other parts of the body.
As a business, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees are protected at all times, whether that’s working with heavy machinery, handling goods or transporting and picking stock. Recently, the data has shown an increase in the rate of self-reported workplace non-fatal injuries, and this is not something to be taken lightly.
How can you take action?
If it isn’t already, your company needs to take action now. Making changes and implementing better hand safety procedures will help to mitigate risks as far as practically possible. Focus on training your workforce in the standards of safe handling and hand protection, explaining why you’re implementing these changes or enforcing standards.
To protect your workers hands you could look at investing in new PPE equipment such as disposable gloves and overalls depending on their job role. If they work with hazardous chemicals for example, their PPE will protect them from injuries such as burns.
If they’re working with machinery, you’ll want to offer protective equipment that provides an adequate level of cut protection, abrasion resistance, vibration resistance or whatever they need. Before you delve into buying copious amounts of PPE, you’ll want to first evaluate what your employees need depending on their job requirements.
Make sure your staff are following guidelines
Guidelines and procedures are paramount in ensuring everyone is protected. They’ll not only protect your workforce from injury, but they’ll also protect you as an employer. Run regular training sessions to ensure everyone is confident in what they’re being asked to do, and make sure training manuals are signed off by both employee and company.
Whatever guidelines you’ve implements, these should be revisited whenever changes are made. This will help you to mitigate hand safety risks for as long as possible.