Safety Tip of the Week: Don’t take your hands for granted!

One pair of scissors opened as if laying on a table

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about hand safety in the workplace.

Can you imagine not being able to work with your hands? Hand injuries can vary from minor cuts or irritation to more serious complications.

Well over a million hand injuries occur reach year, and 20 percent of disabling workplace injuries involve the hands. Some injury types are:

  1. Lacerations (Paper cutters, scissors) 63%
  2. Crush (Doors) 13%
  3. Avulsion 8%
  4. Puncture (Bites, staplers) 6%
  5. Fracture (Falls) 5%
  6. Repetitive Stress 5%

It is generally accepted in heavy industry that workers will find dangerous work environments that expose employees to potential injury. But it is important to recognize the potential risks found in everyday classroom and office environments. These environments can also lead to injuries if safe work practices are not followed. Learn to avoid these common hazards:

  • Know the hazards and dangers in the job to be done and use the appropriate tool to help if there is one.
  • Be aware of pinch points or potential for cuts (boxes, paper cutters, doors, box knives, staplers). Make sure sharp objects are properly stored.
  • Be aware of hot areas (hot water dispensers, coffee pots, food heated in microwaves). Use hot pads and cups with handles.
  • Be aware of rotating or moving surfaces (carts or computers on wheels: C.O.W.s)
  • Be aware of other interactions that could potentially open up opportunities for bites or scratches.
  • Clean up spills immediately so no one can slip and fall.