Hand injuries, though almost always preventable, are one of leading reasons for emergency room visits and missed workdays. According to a 2016 National Safety Council edition of “Injury Facts,” more than 120,000 job-related hand injuries resulted in missed work days in a single year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that more than one million workers visit the emergency room with hand injuries annually. Safety experts, government regulators, and employers alike are constantly struggling to find effective ways to prevent painful and costly work injuries.
Hand Injuries are Complex
Hand injuries can be difficult to treat because of the complex structure of the human hand. A hand injury can cause a loss of mobility, grip, and dexterity, preventing the individual from performing basic tasks. Picking up objects, writing, typing, and even routine tasks such as tying shoes can be impossible with a serious hand injury.
Sprains, strains, and tears are among the most frequent injuries to the hand that occur at work. Other types of injuries are a result of repetitive use. These can occur when a worker is required to perform the same task repeatedly for long periods of time. That can be assembling a part or even just typing on a keyboard. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive use injury resulting in pain, numbness, and swelling. Effective strategies for avoiding repetitive stress injuries include taking frequent breaks, stretching the wrists and arms, and alternating between several job functions.
Punctures and lacerations are also common workplace hand injuries. The use of tools, knives and machinery make these injuries more common in construction and other trades. Cuts can sever tendons, nerves, and muscles which are difficult to repair. Punctures can invite infection, also difficult to treat. Thorough safety training and ensuring all tools and equipment are in good working order can reduce these hand injuries. Wearing high-quality industrial gloves, designed for the job in question is also crucial for protecting hands. Removing all jewelry on the arms, wrist and fingers reduces the risk of amputation and de-gloving injuries.
Workers exposed to extremely hot, cold, or toxic substances can suffer burns, rashes, and other skin reactions. Training workers on how to handle dangerous chemicals is the best defense against injuries. There are a variety of protective gloves available for industrial use, depending upon which substances workers are exposed to. Insulated, rubber, and PVC gloves are generally used to protect hands from temperature extremes and hazardous chemicals.
Unfortunately, not every hand injury can be prevented. For this reason, it is important to train all employees on what to do in the event of an emergency. Standard safety procedures should be familiar to every employee. First aid supplies should also be readily available throughout the workplace. Improper or delayed care could cost an injured employee the use of their hand.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Workers With Hand Injuries
Even with the best safety training and preparation, hand injuries still happen on the job. Injured workers may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits during their treatment and recovery. Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law advocate for injured workers, fighting for the compensation they deserve. Call our Cherry Hill, New Jersey office at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.