Hands On Safety
Total injuries reported were 916,440 while nearly 8% of those, or 71,100 were lacerations. As we all well know, no one is immune from hand injuries, in the office or the work site. By breaking down the statistics we can provide insight into three of the more common variables when it comes to hand injuries.
Variable 1 - Age
Workers under 25 years old, typically report fewer injuries over all; however, the percent of lacerations are higher by almost 30%. Percent of lacerations steadily decreases with age. By the age of 65 we see the fewest lacerations of any of the age groups, 5.5%. The data and research show that many variables influence these numbers. Younger workers typically:
· Are manual laborers
· Have a feeling of invincibility
· Less experience with tools and task
Training - Before a job and/or task begins educate the young worker in hand safety.
Introduction to the work place - Show and explain the hazards in the workplace during orientation.
Enforce PPE policies and procedures - It pays in many ways to ensure that Wachs’ expectations are understood and are being followed.
Variable 2 - Experience
The longer an employee has been with the company the more likely they are to experience an injury. Private industry employees who were with their employer for less than three months, for example, reported 98,890 injuries total. With each experience bracket, the overall injuries go up. Workers who had been at their job for more than five years reported 323,760 injuries. Interestingly enough, the percent of hand injuries show an inverse trend. Employees who were at their job for less than three months had a higher proportion of lacerations, at 12% of total injuries.
This proportion decreases as an employee has more experience and those who have been with their employer for more than 5 years reported only 6.29% of total injuries due to cuts.
Focus on the importance of hand safety in new hire orientation.
Continue with training, coaching and enforcement when it comes to PPE policies, tool training, and safety procedures.
Variable 3 - Weekend Work
The data shows injuries decrease on weekends. Less workers, seems less opportunities. However, hand injuries account for a higher percent of the injuries. While the data doesn’t show the reasons this happens, it leads one to believe that weekend workers perhaps are less likely to focus on hand safety during these two days. Perhaps this is due to less supervision, increased pressure to complete a job or just more opportunities to take short cuts.
Prior to the weekend address concerns and expectations when it comes to specific jobs and tasks.
Meet with Teams prior to the weekend to discuss safety strategies. Plan with follow-up on Monday how that plan was carried out and any lessons learned.