Looking for hand safety tips? You’ve come to the right blog. See 5 ways to improve hand safety, straight from the hand safety experts.
1. Wear Your Protective Clothing…and Don’t Take It Off
Studies show that as many as 60% of hand injuries could be eliminated through appropriate use of hand protection1 . That’s a surprisingly large percentage! But what contributes to this high rate of injuries?
Many workers remove their gloves when it fails to offer enough dexterity for the task at hand. Dexterity is crucial when performing intricate tasks, like working with small parts, or when working in cramped conditions. The real problem is the glove itself – it doesn’t provide the needed dexterity to perform these tasks, so workers remove their gloves, leaving themselves vulnerable.
Solution: Use a work glove that offers the right combination of dexterity and protection.
See how Ringers Gloves reduces hand injuries and improves safety records by downloading our safety brochure.
2. Wear the Right Glove for the Task At Hand
Task-specific design is important – you wouldn’t wear a disposable glove if you need impact protection. That’s why you need to wear the right glove for the task at hand. Safety gloves offer a variety of safety features – from cut and impact protection, to chemical and abrasion resistance.
Solution: Evaluate the work you’ll be doing, and what protection is needed.
3. Avoid These Situations to Improve Hand Safety
If you want to improve hand safety, there are some situations you want to avoid completely.
- Placing hands in places you can’t see
- Working fast, rather than working smart
- Doing an un-safe action “just this one time”
- Counting on your reflexes to save hands and fingers
- Putting hands or fingers near moving equipment parts
- Wearing rings or bracelets underneath gloves
Solution: Safety regulations are in place for a reason – follow them to avoid unfortunate incidents.
4. Protect Hands with Guards, Tools, and Gloves
A common cause for hand injury is the use of heavy machinery and tools. Be sure to use machine, energy, and chemical guards to reduce exposure to risk. These guards are in place to prevent hand injuries, so use them! If there’s a problem with these guards, report to your supervisor.
Solution: Use the tool guards provided, and leave the safety features in tact.
Want to see the true cost of an injury? Read our blog for hand injury statistics – and learn how to reduce direct and indirect injury costs.
5. Perform Hazard Analysis for Hand Safety
An often-overlooked aspect of hand safety is hazard analysis. You can’t reduce risk if you don’t know the potential dangers you’re facing. Most likely, your organization offers standard procedures for hazard analysis. The National Safety Council provides the following recommended steps for performing hazard analysis.
- Conduct a review of reported injuries/incidents
- Conduct analysis of hazardous chemicals and PPE assigned in the workplace
- Complete a Physical Hazard Assessment of entire work operation (electric, crush, amputation, caught in, struck by, hot/cold surfaces, laceration, chemical exposure)
- Review PPE/tools assigned to each risk type
- Review work practices for the hazards, intended to prevent hand injuries
- Conduct a Machine Guard program review and inspection
Solution: Follow the best practices for hazard analysis.
6. Bonus! Hand Safety Do’s and Don’ts2:
- Do wear the right glove for the task at hand, based on the hazards you’ll be facing, the size of your hand, and the safety features offered
- Do give yourself a break - periodically stretch hands and fingers to give tendons and muscles time to recover
- Do use the appropriate tool for the job, and know how to use the tool properly
- Do regularly check PPE equipment for wear and tear
- Do identify safety features and emergency off switches on your equipment
- Don't wear rings or jewelry around rotating equipment
- Don’t use unprotected hands to clean up metal shavings, sharp parts, glass, or wood chips
- Don’t operate heavy machinery while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some prescription medicine
- Don’t clean or repair equipment until its completely turned off
- Don’t use tools or equipment beyond the intended use
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, check out our Overview Brochure. It breaks down the costs of hand injuries, glove safety features, and shows how Ringers Gloves stacks up against the competition.
2 - EHS Daily Advisor - http://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/12/handy-hand-safety-training-tips/