Keeping Your Hands Safe At The Workplace
The most used tool on any job site is the human hand. Think of almost any task at your worksite, from sweeping up construction debris to skillfully using a finishing trowel. Your hands and fingers are the tools you use every day. Try writing without using your thumb, high-fiving your kid at a ball game with a palm full of sutures or holding a hammer with only two fingers. Fiore and Sons has a 100% glove use policy on site; use the gloves fit for your task.
There is not a single glove that will protect from all hazards. Selection of gloves must be based on the hazards that are present, the job task, work conditions, and the duration of use. Don’t use gloves that are torn or damaged. Inspect gloves prior to each use. Use proper tools and Safe Work Practices to keep your hands out of pinch points and struck by zones.
There are many hazards on construction sites that can result in a hand injury, including:
- Punctures, cuts or lacerations caused by contact with sharp, spiked or jagged edges on equipment, tools or
- Crushed, fractures or amputations caused by contact with hammers, manhole lids, gears, belts, wheels and rollers, falling objects.
- Rings, gloves or clothing getting caught and putting your hand in harm’s way.
- Strains, sprains, and other musculoskeletal injuries caused by using the wrong tool for the job, or one that is too big, small or heavy for your hand.
- Burns caused by direct contact with a hot surface or a chemical.
- Rashes and other skin disorders caused by direct contact with chemicals in products and materials.
Choose gloves designed to protect against specific hazards of a job being performed. Types range from common canvas work gloves to highly specialized gloves used in specific industries. Rubber, vinyl or neoprene gloves are used when handling fuels, lubricants, acids, cleansers, and concrete. Leather gloves or leather reinforced with metal stitching useful for handling rough or abrasive materials. Flexible knit rubber palm gloves for grip, comfort, and general use.
- Be aware of the job tasks, equipment and materials that can create a risk for a hand injury or put your skin in contact with a chemical, and know the steps that should be taken to prevent exposures and injuries.
- Always stay alert and focused on keeping your hands safe not just at the start of work or a task.
- Don’t put your hands or fingers near the moving parts of a power tool or equipment. Make sure machinery, equipment and power tools are completely off before you try replacing, cleaning or repairing parts. Follow lock-out/tag-out procedures.
- Identify safety features on tools and equipment before you use them, such as emergency off switches.
- Keep hands and fingers away from sharp edges (blades, protruding nails, etc.). Never cut toward yourself.
- Select hand tools that are ergonomic for your hand w/ the right size, low weight, and as grip.
- Wear gloves that fit your hand and are right for the work being performed.
- Do not wear rings, other jewelry or loose articles of clothing that could get caught on a moving object.