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A safety meeting in a nutshell

HAND SAFETY

Note to Discussion Leader: Before the discussion, compile a list of potential hand injury sites in your workplace.

Almost everything we do involves using our hands. The hand is a very complex part of our body—able to accomplish many jobs with strength, flexibility, sensitivity and coordination. Hands are involved in more than 20% of disabling job incidents nationally. In some industries the figure is even higher, approaching 50% of serious injuries.

The hand consists of skin, bones, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments all working together to get the job done. Damage any of these elements, and the whole hand may be affected in an adverse manner.

The main types of hand injuries are traumatic, contact and repetitive trauma. No matter the task, you must protect your hands to avoid injuries.

Traumatic injuries include lacerations, fractures, amputations, abrasions, strains, and sprains. To prevent traumatic injuries:

Contact injuries include contact dermatitis, thermal burns, electrical burns, and chemical burns. To prevent these injuries:

Major repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, and white finger. To prevent repetitive motion injuries, workers should:

Gloves, when used in the proper manner, can offer protection to the hands. The worker needs to select the proper glove for the work environment, know how to maintain the gloves, and know when to dispose of the gloves.

Other methods to protect your hands include:

"TO DO" LIST:

-- from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Safety Leaders Discussion Guide