Hand Safety With Joe Geng
In maintenance and reliability practices, physical risks are always present. The most common injuries are hand injuries. Today, we have Joe Geng telling us all about the importance of hand safety.
He has a book out aimed at helping workers understand:
- Why hand safety is important
- How we can prevent hand injuries
- The levels of ensuring work safety
- The measures you can take to ensure hand safety
Why hand safety is important
People in the workplace usually don’t give hand injuries the seriousness they deserve. When someone gets a cut, they should either report it or get help. But instead, they bandage it up, or add some crazy glue and keep on working. But, these injuries could lead to more significant issues. These include infections or even losing your fingers. You may also have to take time off work, reducing productivity and even morale at the workplace. Severe issues such as losing a hand may also force you to leave work, affecting your quality of life.
How can we prevent hand injuries
Hand injuries in the workplace are preventable. But it requires all workers and their superiors to get committed to safety practices. Most companies have safety managers. But, these managers need support from upper management. Without help, the safety measures implemented will likely fail. So, the top management needs to:
- set aside budgets for safety enhancement purposes.
- get more involved in the safety procedures undertaken.
- have regular safety meetings to create a culture in it.
- encourage workers on the importance of working in a safe environment.
- ensure safety managers and workers can communicate in case of any issues.
The levels of work safety
Safety at the workplace can get broken up into the following elements:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Personal Protective Equipment PPE
For hand safety, one of the first safety measures is offering protective gloves to the workers. Companies should have a hierarchy of safety practices to help end hazards on the work floor. These help to cut the prevalence of injuries. That way, gloves only come in to create an extra barrier, where necessary, to help prevent injuries. Gloves help reduce or prevent injuries such as cuts, burns, Vibrations, impact on the back of the hands and exposure to chemicals
It’s important to note that gloves can also expose workers to injuries in some cases. That is, especially around circulating equipment like a drill press. Even with well-fitting gloves, the material could get caught in the machine. If that happens, your hand will get pulled in the process. Such incidents result in extreme injuries. It’s advisable to avoid gloves around circulating equipment.
There are, nowadays, tear away gloves, created for working with circulating equipment. They come off fast when caught, decreasing the chance of getting injured.
- Safety Training
To get the best training, you need to have tailored safety exercises per plant operation. You would also need a trainer who understands how the plant floor operates. Such a person would be able to relate to the issues experienced on the work floor. Being relatable means, they wouldn’t be giving generic safety advice during training sessions.
Mindfulness training is also essential as workers tend to lose attention. That could be at the end of the day, or when gearing up to a long weekend.
- Cultural Issues
These are one of the leading causes of injuries in the workplace due to:
- Language barriers – Non-English speakers miss information from safety training sessions. The same applies to safety signs in the workplace.
- Non-native workers are too submissive – Such workers do not speak up about any issues on the work floor. They will continue to work even when they have injuries.
Measures you can take to reduce hand injuries
A lot of elements come into play when you’re looking to reduce hand injuries. The hierarchy of safety controls is the first component. It helps workers cut hazards by having:
- guards in place
- signs in many languages to cater to your entire workforce
- the right PPE available
To improve behavior-based safety, you need to observe the injuries occurring. This is even after the safety controls have gotten implemented. From there, plan a strategy to reduce the casualties. That could be by holding meetings with the workers in those injury-prone areas.
Another way to promote safe work practices is by making injuries personal to them. Expose the workers to the reality of the injuries they’re likely to come across. It could be by either showing pictures or videos of injuries. You could also hold real simulations to act out the accidents that may occur.
Positive peer pressure can also get applied to create awareness of hand safety. Get some workers to commit to safety procedures, and other workers will likely join in. Other options include rotating safety signs across the work floor. You can also make sure that PPE is easy to come by in the workplace.
In a Nutshell
It’s important to understand that hand-related injuries can reduce. These aren’t like other work-related injuries, such as back injuries. Back injuries occur in a variety of ways, making them harder to avoid. Companies need to understand what hand safety best practices are. These include having the right procedures, training, PPE, among other safety practices implemented. Strategic approaches are the best move. They enhance safety practices, bringing about a longlasting effect at the workplace.
- HP Reliability
- James Kovacevic’s LinkedIn
- Reliability Report
- Eruditio Supports: www.help.eruditio.com
Joe Geng Links:
- Joe Geng Linkedin
- Superior Gloves
- Superior Gloves Blog
- Safety Function
- Rethinking Hand Safety: Myths, Truths, and Proven Practices by Joe Geng
- 7 Insights into Safety Leadership by Thomas R. Krause & Kristen J. Bell
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