Hand Safety Safety



How many hazards to the hands can you name?

There are very few tasks we perform that do not involve the use of our hands.  We use them for so many things that are important in our daily lives including family activities, personal hobbies, and our work life.

About 75% of all partial-disability workplace injuries involve the hands.  And if you think about how often we use our hands at work, this shouldn’t be too surprising.  Historically, hand injuries have been the largest category of recordables within refining.

Take a few moments right now to come up with a list of hazards to the hands?

When you think you have a good list, compare it to the list below.

  • Bruises/cuts from loss of control of an unsecured workpiece (or tool)
  • Injuries from not anticipating the line of fire when energy releases unexpectedly
  • Injuries from reaching into equipment and losing sight of the fingers (eyes not on task)
  • Cuts from handling or contacting sharp objects
  • Injuries from the misuse of hand and power tools (guards not secured)
  • Thermal burns from direct contact with hot objects such as steam lines
  • Injuries to the hands and wrist from breaking one’s fall after a slip/trip
  • Crushing injuries from placing hands or fingers in pinch points
  • Bruises/cuts when a defective or an improperly selected tool slips
  • Irritation and burns from contact with chemical substances
  • Burns or shock from contact with electrical circuits
  • Injuries from failure to properly lockout an energy source

How does this compare to your list?

Your hands are your most valuable tool.  Don’t let a disabling hand injury change the quality of your life.  Do whatever it takes to protect them.  Wear hand protection every time it’s needed.  Keep your eyes on your hands as you perform a task.  Anticipate where energy could be released and keep your hands out of the line of fire.  In short, never put your hands at risk.