Utilising Hand Protection Equipment To Avoid Accidents
The hand is one of the most injured parts of the body in the workplace. Due to the complex system of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels, these injuries are difficult and take much time to heal. In 2013, employees took over 289,000 days of sick leave due to hand-related injuries. Riddor statistics also show that 20% of disabling accidents occurring at work involve employees’ hands. These staggering figures prove how easily accidents can occur and the extreme consequences that they can have to employers and employees alike. This highlights why the utilisation of specialist equipment to ensure hand protection is extremely important. The types of harm that can occur are wide-ranging and can include contact injuries sustained through touching toxic chemicals or extremes of heat or cold that can burn or irritate the hands. Other situations that can potentially injure the hands can involve the unintentional misuse of tools and machinery with sharp edges; handling staples and screwdrivers that can puncture the skin; and even employees getting their hands stuck in a part of a machine. So it is obvious that health and safety at work is not just a matter of wearing hi vis clothing. It is a requirement that all parts of the body that could be potentially affected by workplace accidents are adequately protected by the PPE equipment. For hands, gloves and hand protection come in a wide range of standards, from those made from very fine materials which allow the user to still manipulate small objects if necessary, right up to drivers’ gloves protecting from extremes of temperature.