Hand injuries occur in all industries and occupations in California. A significant percentage of workplace injuries harm workers’ hands, and not enough attention is paid to preventing hand injuries. Typical hazards include the exposure to grease, solvents, chemicals and extreme weather conditions.
Working with machines with exposed moving parts poses amputation hazards. The dangers include cutting tools, sharp objects, rotating equipment and pinch points. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees, and yet, hand protection in safety training is often neglected. Safety authorities say workers should consider the risks of hand injuries before starting any jobs because different hazards require different means of protection.
Leather gloves protect workers’ hands from many potential injuries, and they also allow a better grip when working with abrasive or rough objects. Different gloves are required for working with petroleum products and agricultural chemicals. In some cases, special ointments and skin creams should be applied to prevent dermatitis and other skin conditions. The ability and strength of the hands are often taken for granted and not provided the same amount of care taken with finely crafted tools. Tools are replaceable; hands are not.
Like any other workplace injuries, hand injuries must receive prompt medical care. The next step is to inform the employer and get the wheels rolling for filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim. The process often seems daunting, but the support and guidance of an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney can simplify the process in pursuit of financial relief to cover medical expenses and lost wages.