Hand Protection Safety




What are examples of “low level risk” and hand safety?

Think about your hands for a minute.  How would your life be affected if you lost the use of a finger?  How about a thumb?  Try using any tool without your thumb.  Now what if it was a hand?  Losing the use of a finger or a hand changes more than your appearance, it changes your ability to work and to live your life.

Not convinced?  Try spending just one hour with your thumb taped into your palm or your whole hand bound up.  This exercise will get your attention!

Hand injuries can happen when we lose focus and don’t think through the consequences of where we are placing our hands.  It could be from taking a short cut or deviating from a procedure.  More likely it’s simply not keeping our hands and fingers in our line of sight or placing them in the line of fire of equipment or tools.

If you’re not thinking about protecting your hands, then you’re likely thinking that injuries only happen to the other guy – after all, you’ve never had a serious hand injury.  But make no mistake about it, every single person who has had a serious hand injury also believed that they were invincible …before they were injured.

Before you begin a task, or pick up a tool, or start up equipment, or reach into equipment with your hand, take four seconds.  Are you exposing your hands and fingers to a potential pinch point or line-of-fire hazard?

What about low level risk?  Do you walk onto a jobsite without wearing gloves?  Do you believe that it’s okay to take off your gloves “just this one time” to make a small tool adjustment?  Do you occasionally use your hands to forcefully manipulate something you’re working on rather than using a hand tool to do the job?

We’ve had our share of hand injuries here at JJ White.  There’s no doubt that in those few seconds before each injury, none of these individuals believed that they could be hurt or lose the use of their hands or fingers.  This type of thinking is dangerous.

What are you thinking when you’re working?