Hand injuries carry the potential for serious harm and are difficult to heal. Unfortunately, the hand is the part of the body most injured in workplace accidents.But hand injuries are preventable. NZ Safety Blackwoods Hand Protection Easy Guide makes choosing the right protection easy says Erin Hassall, national category manager for footwear and PPE.“There’s a lot to consider when it comes to taking care of your hands the list below should be top of mind as you work through what is the right protection for the job,” says Hassall.
She says to think of your hands as valuable tools“Your hands are superbly designed tools of amazing strength and dexterity. They can pinch, grasp, twist, lift, hold and manipulate while doing a wide variety of other specific tasks. Without your fingers or hands your ability to work would be greatly reduced.
”In the workplace, your hands are subjected to many hazards. A hazard is any energy that can cause harm. Injuries can be immediate like cuts, punctures and burns, or may happen over time, like Raynaud’s syndrome (white finger) or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Hand injuries can be caused by: Contact hazards – these hazards cause hands and fingers to get cut on sharp edges of tools, materials, packaging, containers or even debris from a manufacturing process. These hazards also include electrical current, chemicals, and extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Personal hazards – these hazards include wearing jewellery, loose clothing or using improper or defective personal protective equipment.Mechanical hazards – these are situations where hands and fingers can get caught, pinched, crushed or severed in chains, rollers, gears, or other moving parts. Objects could fall on your hands or your hands could get hurt while handling materials. Even hand tools can be a mechanical hazard if they are used incorrectly or are damaged.
FINDING THE RIGHT HAND PROTECTION – ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
The first step is to consider the risk level and type of injury: is it a cut, puncture, crush, repetitive motion heat or impact. The, follow through these questions:
• What is the task at hand?
• The type and duration of contact, if any?
• Are you looking for breathability or durability?• Will the glove need to be heavy-duty or lightweight?
• Does the glove fit snugly and allow dexterity?
WEAR AND CARE
Gloves are essential when handling rough or sharp objects, hot or very cold materials, or to prevent body contact with chemicals, fluids and to help reduce vibration. Do not wear gloves around moving parts of machinery. Some simple points to follow are:
1. Choose the right glove for the job.
2. When working with chemicals, make sure that the glove is resistant to that chemical.
3. Make sure the glove fits well.
4. Remove gloves carefully. Avoid unprotected contact if they are contaminated with a hazardous chemical.
5. Use, clean, inspect and store in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
Get a copy of the Hand Protection Easy Guide at one of NZ Safety Blackwoods 33 Trade Centres nationwide. For more information visit http://www.nzsafetyblackwoods.co.nz, email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to a NZ Safety Blackwoods account manager.