Hands and fingers are injured more often than any other part of the body.
This is because of two reasons:
- Hands and fingers are required for most work activities.
- Hands and fingers are vulnerable to crush and cut type injuries as well as exposure to harmful materials used at work and exposure to vibration and repetitive strain injuries.
Injuries to hands and fingers can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Severed fingers or hands due to rotating machines such as saws and cutting wheels.
Advice: ensure guards are in place and operating. Use push sticks to saw benches.
- Crush injuries due to incorrect use of tools such as hammers. Contact with in-running nip points on machinery.
Advice: tools and equipment must be maintained. Defective equipment such as cold chisels with mushroom ends must be replaced or repaired. In-running nip points such as chain and sprocket transmission must be guarded.
- Skin allergies such as dermatitis due to handling harmful materials such as mould oil.
Advice: avoid skin contact. Wear suitable gloves if necessary. Wash and dry hands to remove any substances from skin.
- Exposure to vibration
Advice: avoid manual process if possible, organise work to include breaks reduce exposure time, share work load and wear anti-vibration gloves.
- Exposure to repetitive work
Advice: avoid manual process if possible, organise work station to minimise strain, allow for breaks, plan workload and share work activities.