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Two hand safety tips to reduce hand injuries in the workplace

by , 24 April 2013
As a business, you have a legal duty to protect your employees from health and safety risks at the workplace. That's why you should ensure you reduce the health and safety risks for your employees who work with their hands. Read on to discover two strategies your employees can use to reduce hand injuries.

The two main causes of hand injuries in the workplace are exposure to chemicals, tools, physical work etc. and inattention. These injuries can range from:

  • Persistent: Bruises, pinches, lacerations, abrasions and strains to
  • Severe: Amputation, dislocation, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.

As an employer, you should manage this health and safety risk area.

If you don't, your employee may no longer be able to perform their job function, you'll lose a valuable resource and you may have to pay compensation claims.

But, there're skills and strategies employees who work with their hands can learn to prevent hand injuries.

Hand safety tips your employees can use to reduce hand injuries

Tip#1: Boost mental skills for directing attention. This includes ensuring you:

  • Train your employees to use their tools safely.
  • Tell employees to concentrate on the task being performed and don't be distracted.
  • Tell your employees to 'sustain attention on a task, even when other sights and sounds exert a pull away,' explains The Health and Safety Advisor.
  • Tell your employees to shift attention back to tasks after being distracted.

Tip#2: Help employees identify and lower their level of accepted risk

Employees need to see those hidden hazards that fall below their warning light threshold. This goes beyond an 'I've always done it that way' of thinking, says the Advisor. Instead, consider helping workers learn to recognise patterns that lead to hand injuries in their environments.

For example, while employees may often associate lacerations and cuts coming from sharp tools, statistics show many hand injuries come from burrs or from equipment that was never intended to be sharp but developed an edge through wear and tear. By training employees to consciously see hazards, they can identify patterns instinctively.

For hand safety, remember to ensure employees are always wearing and using the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Using these tips will ensure you reduce the health and safety risks of employees who work with their hands.

 Click here to get 5 legally compliant safety training modules for less than R200 each!



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