The majority of us rely on using our hands to carry out tasks each day. Workers in New Jersey are no exception. From heavy lifting in construction sites to using computers, our hands are crucial to our productivity. Injuries to these vital parts of the body can result in you having to take extended periods off of work to recover.
Despite this, hands are frequently overlooked in terms of safety. Consequently, the frequency and causes of hand injuries at work warrant further examination.
Just how common are hand injuries?
Injuries to the hands present a significant risk to employees each day. One study commissioned by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2019 showed that approximately 120,000 Americans had to take time off work because of an injury to their hands.
What causes hand injuries at work?
There are numerous causes of hand injuries and various symptoms to be on the lookout for if you think that you have one. Injuries can be sudden and painful or sustained over a long time. Often, human error can play a significant factor, especially if you’re using machinery and tools. Additionally, several hazards may increase your risk of suffering a hand injury. For example, an item of jewelry or a loose piece of clothing could pose a significant threat.
Contact hazards are another frequent factor that causes hand injuries. Machinery or packaging may have sharp edges that could lead to lacerations. Moreover, certain types of work, including the use of chemicals, could lead to burn injuries and allergic reactions.
Hand injuries and safety culture
A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one unfortunate trend that continues to make its presence known. According to the BLS, approximately 70% of workers were not utilizing PPE at the time of their work-related hand injury in 2019.
Understanding the trends and common causes of hand injuries is in your best interests. If you have been involved in a workplace accident, it is important to know your legal rights and protections.