Creating a Hand Safety Programme Images of hand injuries are so very distressing..
Updated: Oct 4, 2018
We thought a nice image demonstrating the unique ability that the human hand possess would get the message across just as well.
Estimates vary from 40% - 60% that all work place accidents involve hand injuries to some degree. Here are our first basic steps in developing a hand safety programme.
The foundation of any hand safety program is to collate incident and injury data and analyze it to detect trends. The Health and Safety department or professional should keep the following questions in mind:
What are the most common hand injuries? Are they cuts, burns or fractures etc.?
How did the injuries happen? Were they related to handling tools and equipment? Are they the result of chemical exposure?
In what conditions did the injuries occur?
Once a thorough analysis of hand accidents in the workplace is complete, it will give the Health and Safety professional a comprehensive understanding of the exact types of hand injuries employees are having and what they're doing when they happen. With this data, it becomes possible to pin down specific hand injury hazards and any underperforming PPE or practices which require attention.
In terms of PPE, workers should always be supplied with gloves which provide appropriate levels of protection for their duties. Any failing hand protection should be investigated further, including contacting safety glove suppliers to discuss different - and more suitable - options. We can always recommend the appropriate work wear for the job.
The next stage should focus on training the workforce on the guidelines of the hand protection programme, including an explanation of why the programme is needed in the first place. Additionally, clear instructions should be given on the implementation of the programme including:
Which safety gloves should be worn for particular job duties
The proper use, care and maintenance of safety gloves
Any monitoring methods and procedures
After training has been conducted, it's highly recommended to begin an internal safety awareness campaign to emphasize the importance of the hand safety programme. This can include posters, flyers, banners and newsletters in addition to verbal reminders to reinforce the message.
Once the program has been fully launched, the last step is to ensure workers are adhering to the new safety guidelines and monitor results. This can be achieved by using hand safety requirement checklists, performing regular safety audits, providing easy ways for workers to report safety hazards and having managers reinforce hand protection awareness. The aim is to ensure workers fully understand the need for hand protection and the procedures put in place to improve safety for all.
Using these steps as a basic starting point, your Health and Safety department or professional will be well on the way to developing a robust hand safety program for your workforce - just remember to keep promoting positive behavior along the way!