There are a number of different types of hand injuries in the workplace. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries, such as fractures, lacerations, and crush injuries. In some cases, hand injuries can even lead to amputation.
Workers in a wide variety of industries are at risk of suffering hand injuries. Some of the most common industries where hand injuries occur include construction, manufacturing, and healthcare.
This blog post will look at some of the most common types of hand injuries in the workplace. We will also discuss some of the key strategies that can be used to prevent these injuries from occurring.
Hand Injuries in The Workplace
Hand injuries are a common occurrence in the workplace. In fact, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), hand injuries account for approximately 20% of all occupational injuries. While any part of the hand can be injured, the fingers are typically more vulnerable due to their small size and delicate structure.
Furthermore, certain jobs carry a higher risk for hand injuries than others. For instance, manual laborers such as construction workers or factory workers are more likely to suffer hand injuries than office employees.
Some of the most common hand injuries occur when our hands come into contact with sharp objects or hazardous materials. Other causes of hand injuries include:
- Repetitive motions
- Vibration from equipment
- Cold weather
Preventing Hand Injuries:
You can do several things to prevent hand injuries in the workplace. These include:
- Wearing gloves whenever possible
- Using caution when handling sharp objects or hazardous materials
- Taking breaks every hour to rest your hands
- Using proper lifting techniques
- Stretching your muscles regularly
Some Common Types of Hand Injuries in the Workplace
An estimated 1.8 million workers in the United States sustain hand injuries yearly. The five most common types of hand injuries in the workplace are fractures, dislocations, cuts and lacerations, nerve damage, and burns. Let’s take a closer look at each type of injury.
- Fractures – A fracture is a break in one or more bones in hand. They can be caused by a fall, collision with another object, crush injury, or wrist twisting. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. Treatment includes immobilization in a cast or splint, followed by physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion.
- Dislocations – A dislocation occurs when two bones forming a joint become separated. This can happen when the hand is struck violently against an object or hyperextended (bent backward). Symptoms include pain, swelling, deformity, and difficulty moving the fingers or thumb. Treatment usually involves setting the joint back into alignment, followed by Physical Therapy to restore function. Surgery may also be necessary to repair any damage to the surrounding tissues.
- Cuts and Lacerations – Cuts and lacerations are among the most common types of hand injuries seen in emergency rooms across the country. They are caused by contact with sharp objects such as knives, blades, glass, or metal. Symptoms vary depending on the size and depth of the wound but typically include pain, bleeding, swelling, and infection. Treatment generally involves cleaning and stitching up the wound under sterile conditions. Surgery may be required to ensure proper healing if there is significant muscle or bone damage.
- Nerve Damage – Nerve damage can occur when there is direct trauma to one of the nerves in your hand. This can cause numbness, tingling sensation, burning pain, weakness, or paralysis. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to relieve the compression of the nerve tissue. With appropriate treatment, most people make a full recovery.
- Burns – Burns account for about 5% of all hand injuries treated in US hospitals yearly. They are caused primarily by contact with flames, hot liquids, electrical currents, radiant heaters, etc. The severity of the burn depends upon its depth, the extent of the area affected, the clothing burned, etc. Most first-degree burns heal without scarring, while second and third-degree burns may leave scars.
Contact and Visit Us at Gaylord and Nantais Attorneys at Law
Although there are several things you can do to prevent different types of hand injuries in the workplace, accidents can still happen. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have sustained a hand injury. Gaylord and Nantais Attorneys at Law have over 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers. We offer free consultations, so contact us today at (562) 561-2669 to see how we can help you.