Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Common Hand InjuriesFebruary 24, 2017
If you take a moment to think about how often you use your hands throughout the day – from holding a cup of coffee, to typing an email on the computer, to unbuttoning a shirt – you can imagine how inconvenient it would be if you lost the use of them due to an injury. Unfortunately, hand injuries are all too common. In fact, they are among the leading causes of lost workdays and trips to the emergency room. In addition, they are responsible for millions of dollars in Workers’ Compensation costs and reduced productivity. However, with the right hand safety programs in place, and a bit of common sense, the vast majority of these injuries can be avoided.
In 2012, DSM Dyneema and EHS Today launched the “Zero Excuses” campaign, which focuses on workplace hand safety and being accountable for enforcing and complying with hand safety protocols. According to David Lynn, CSP, and vice president of signature services for Safety Consultants Inc, a successful hand safety program includes a range of elements, including trend analysis, hazard assessment, training, communication, planning, compliance, and follow-through.
From a Workers’ Compensation perspective, this type of program can help identify which specific tasks are causing certain types of injuries. For example, one analysis revealed that many employees suffered from hand injuries while working with certain types of tools and equipment. This valuable information helped employers develop job-specific safety protocols for their employees.
After reviewing the results from the trend analysis and hazard assessment, they were able to identify types of engineering and administrative controls that could protect workers’ hands. According to Lynn, providing workers with the proper training is crucial, but it is even more important to follow up with workers to ensure that the guidelines are being followed and implemented.
Top Five Workplace Hand Injuries
Based on 2014 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 1.1 million hand injuries that required medical attention in the emergency room, many of which resulted in time away from work. Approximately 20 percent of workplace injuries involve hand injuries, ranging from cuts and irritations to serious fractures and amputations. Following are the most common types of workplace hand injuries:
- Lacerations – 63%
- Crushes – 13%
- Avulsions or detachments – 8%
- Punctures – 6%
- Fractures – 5%
- Other Injuries – 5%
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that hand injuries are often the result of equipment malfunctioning. However, they also found that over 70 percent of workers who sustained hand injuries were not wearing protective gloves at all at the time of the accident. Of those workers with hand injuries, the remaining 30 percent were not wearing the appropriate type of glove at the time of their injury.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers With Hand Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious hand injury while on the job, it is in your best interest to contact the highly reputable Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Our dedicated team will guide you through every step of the claims process and see to it that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.