If you are a safety professional in any industry who has a successful hand protection program, EHS Today wants to talk to you!!
Over 1 million workplace hand injuries occur each year. Some 20 percent of disabling workplace injuries involve the hands. Of those injuries, 63 percent are lacerations, 13 percent are crush injuries and the remaining injuries are punctures, fractures, burns and amputations.
OSHA 1910.138 states:
1910.138(a) General requirements. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.
1910.138(b) Selection. Employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.
Most hand injuries could be prevented by conducting a hazard analysis of all operations that could contribute to hand injuries, engineering out hazards whenever possible, reviewing job tasks and work practices, educating employees about hand hazards, reviewing and choosing appropriate PPE and engaging employees in the hand protection program to ensure compliance.
Our April issue will include an article written by me that focuses on hand protection and the prevention of injuries – cuts, lacerations, burns, chemical-related, crush and amputations – as well as trends in hand protection.
If you have been successful at reducing or eliminating hand injuries, please share the elements of your hand safety program with me. You will be helping your peers reduce hand injuries and improve safety performance in their workplaces.
You can reach me via email at [email protected].