Safety Alert: Hand Safety
Safety Alert No: 43
Date: 16 April 2013
In the past 12 months there have been 59 reported apprentice hand injuries. This figure makes up a total of 44 per cent of the injuries reported to the WHS team from February 2012 to March 2013 (*Source: NECA Safe Online Safety Management System incident report).
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY HAND INJURIES?
Within the electrical and communications industry workers are required to use their hands to carry out most tasks; be it drilling, lifting, digging, pulling or terminating cable. The risk of getting a hand injury is increased when working in confined spaces and completing tasks you have not experienced before. Moisture in the air, sweaty hands etc., can also affect the ability to grip hand tools and increase the chances of slipping.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT THEM?
Risk Assessments – Have you completed your Risk Assessment in your RAC book? The reason you are required to carry out these Risk Assessments is to ensure you identify potential hazards and make adjustments to reduce the risk of injury. Wear your
PPE - Gloves are provided to all apprentices and are maintained by electrical group training. Don’t have any gloves? Contact your field officer or head office on 6241 6100.
Right Tool for the Task – Using the right tool for the task, in the right way will decrease the risk of injury. A spanner should not be used as a hammer. Neither should pliers.
SURGERY AND HAND INJURIES
The hand is an intricate part of the body which has many tendons, small bones and muscle fibres. Any damage or infection in this part of the body can result in loss of movement/use and in severe cases, loss of digits.