Your hands play an important role in your work at a construction site. Being able to comfortably use tools and handle objects is essential, but also makes your hands particularly vulnerable to injury. They’re frequently close to many dangers and have many delicate bones and joints that if damaged, can make work difficult and painful. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your hands. We’ve compiled five tips for protecting your hands at a work site:
Select the Perfect Work Gloves
It goes without saying that wearing appropriate gloves is the most obvious way to protect your hands against hazards. In fact, gloves are one of the most essential forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job site. We’ve compiled a list of pointers for work glove selection to ensure that you or your crew has access to the best hand protection.
Keep Track of Your Hands
Be mindful of where you are placing both hands at all times, especially when working with machinery. Avoid using your hands to feed material into machines and make sure you’re not wearing loose clothing or jewelry that may get caught. When doing maintenance, ensure the machine is completely turned off to avoid it unexpectedly starting up.
Avoid Hazardous Materials
While there’s no way to avoid working with hazardous substances like chemicals and hot materials, it’s extremely important to avoid direct skin contact. Don’t use strong solvents to clean your hands and never use your hands to sweep up metal shavings, wood chips, broken glass, or other sharp objects. When working with grease or oil, keep your hands clean to avoid having slippery hands.
Use the Right Tools
The use of machinery or tools can increase fatigue on the hands and wrists. Selecting the right tool with a comfortable handle can reduce wrist problems and prevent strain injuries. And of course, all tools should be well-maintained and inspected prior to use. The misuse of tools and equipment is a common cause of injury. Don’t assume you know how to use a tool, attend a training for protecting hands at a work site.
Practice Self Care
Being alert and focused significantly reduces the risk of a hand injury. If you feel mental or physical fatigue, take short breaks, and stretch those hands! Working with your hands puts you at increased risk for many repetitive stress injuries. If you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis or tendonitis, consult your healthcare provider before you experience worsening symptoms. Good hand care is also the key to preventing problems before they start. Use moisturizer to avoid cracked skin, keep your nails short and clean and don’t forget your hands when applying sunscreen!