Hand injuries are very common among Colorado workers. Because you use your hands for a variety of tasks every day, this makes total sense. What does not make sense is that hand safety is rarely a top priority, and finger and hand injuries remain far too prevalent in certain occupations.
Causes of hand injuries at work
The most common job-related hand injuries occur in industrial and construction worksites in which hand tools and heavy machinery are often used. Workers in these environments often face injuries like punctures and lacerations.
However, workers in seemingly less-risky environments like office buildings are also at risk of hand injuries. Overuse injuries are common among office employees who spend all day on their computers or other devices that require repetitive motion.
Additionally, slips and falls can cause hand injuries when a falling person tries to stop said fall with their hands. A few common hand and finger injuries include:
- Burns, abrasions
- Cuts, punctures
- Smashing, pinching
Costs of hand injuries
For those with hand injuries that occurred on the job, the costs can be substantial. These costs include medical care and physical therapy but may also include lost time at work. An aggressive, yet compassionate attorney who is well-versed in workers’ compensation claims can be an asset in getting your costs reimbursed.
Preventing hand injuries at the workplace
According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured every seven seconds on the job. Because hands consist of small, intricate parts, they can take time to heal completely. There are a few ways to avoid hand injuries including wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), remaining situationally aware and attending mandatory safety training events.
PPE includes wearing the correct hand protection for the job. Employers should ensure all employees have access to proper gloves to prevent chemical burns, cuts or regular burns.
Awareness and safety training go hand-in-hand, and employers should offer it to their employees. Both employees and employers should keep in mind that fatigue, distraction and inattention all contribute to greater risk of a hand injury.