Definition - What does Hand Protection mean?
Hand protection is saving one’s hands from any sort of injury at work. Hands are vital tools of human being and therefore most vulnerable to injuries as well. Very often, hands are exposed to hazardous conditions such as sharp edges, pinch points, rotary machinery, hot objects, electricity, splinters and chemicals etc. If hands are not protected and get injured, they will last for lifetime.
Safeopedia explains Hand Protection
Most common types of hand injuries include the following:
Traumatic injury occurs when hands and fingers get caught, pinched or crushed in chains, wheels, rollers, or gears of various machinery and get cuts to the skin, tendons, blood vessels and nerves, skin punctures, pricks, abrasion, irritation, bones fractures and sprains.
Contact or permeation injury occurs when our hands get contact with corrosive liquids, solvents, acids, detergents, flammable liquids and other substances and permeated through the skin. This can cause chemical burns or injure tissues, skin irritations, allergic dermatitis, major organ damage, carcinogenic effects etc.
Repetitive motion injury occurs when jobs require repeated, rapid hand movements for long period of time. Most of these injuries are musculoskeletal disorders.
Thermal injury occurs due to high temperatures of the equipment or fire while handling hot parts, thermoplastics molds, welding-cutting, foundry works, thermoforming, removing food from ovens etc. Thermal injury occurs in the form of burns, dermatitis, frostbite and blisters etc.
To protect our hands against these injuries we should do the following:
- Perform out risk assessment.
- Follow user manual and product labels.
- Use appropriate gloves (type, size and shape) and PPEs or barrier cream.
- Avoid using finger rings and ornaments such as bracelets or watches.
- Change grips, hand positions or motions. Give hands a rest.
- Use machine guards and safety devices etc at all the times.
- Lockout and switch off equipment and machines those are not in use.
- Wash hands when in contact with corrosive chemicals or as appropriate.