Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- Hand protection Protecting your fingers and hands is important for your work and quality of life. Work-related hand injuries are one of the leading reasons workers end up in the emergency room and miss work. Damage to the nerves in your fingers and hands, loss of a finger, a skin burn or allergic reaction, can negatively impact the quality of your work, your productivity – or worse – end your career and seriously detract from your quality of life. The cost of these types of injuries and illnesses to the construction industry is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. How many times have you grabbed a sharp object, touched a hot surface, felt pain in your hand because of how you were gripping a tool or twisting your wrist, come close to getting your hand or finger caught or crushed, or had your skin come in contact with a chemical or caustic material? If you can think of even one time for any of these, it is one time too many. 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 materials. Þ Crushed, fractures or amputations – caused by contact with gears, belts, wheels and rollers, falling objects, and rings, gloves or clothing getting caught and putting your hand in harm’s way. Þ 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. Þ Burns – caused by direct contact with a hot surface or a chemical. Þ Dermatitis and other skin disorders – caused by direct contact with chemicals in products and materials. A necessary precaution to take is to wear approved work gloves. Not all gloves protect you from all hand injuries. Leather gloves may not protect you from chemicals, and rubber gloves may not protect you from cuts and crush points. Make sure you are protecting your hands and using the appropriate glove for the task before using them.
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