9 Rules of Hand Safety
Protecting your fingers and hands is important for your work and quality of life. Work-related hand injuries are one of the leading reasons workers end up in the emergency room and miss work. Damage to the nerves in your fingers and hands, loss of a finger, a skin burn or allergic reaction, can negatively impact the quality of your work, your productivity – or worse – end your career and seriously detract from your quality of life.
- Always stay alert and focused on keeping your hands safe – not just at the start of work or a task.
- Keep guards on machinery and power tools in place – Don’t remove or reposition them.
- Use tools and equipment designed for the work being performed and use them as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Don’t put your hands or fingers near the moving parts of a power tool or equipment. Make sure machinery, equipment and power tools are completely off before you try replacing, cleaning or repairing parts – follow lock-out/tag-out procedures.
- Identify safety features on tools and equipment before you use them, such as emergency off switches.
- Check tools and equipment to make sure they are in proper working order before beginning a task.
- Keep hands and fingers away from sharp edges (blades, protruding nails, etc.). Never cut toward the palm of your hand.
- Select hand tools that are ergonomic for your hand (the right size, lowest weight, and have features such as grips, anti-vibration handles, handles angles that allow you to work without your wrist bent.)
- Wear gloves that fit your hand and are right for the work being performed
When you think about it, the hand is actually your most commonly-used tool. Keep your hands protected so they serve you for a lifetime of use!