#45 Hand Protection

You need hands to do so many things at home and at work, where, on some occasions, the workers are even referred to as “the number of hands”. Perhaps it is for the very reason hands and fingers are so important to us, that they are involved in 25% of all disabling injuries.


Cal/OSHA’s Construction Industry Safety Orders require hand protection “for employees whose work involves unusual and excessive exposure to cuts, burns, harmful physical or chemical agents or radioactive materials which are encountered and capable of causing injury or impairments”.


The orders go on to say that, “hand protection shall not be required where there is danger of the hand protection becoming caught in moving machinery or materials”. Mention might also have been made about rings (especially chunky rings) and other items of jewelry worn on the hands and wrist, because they, too, can often be the cause of an accident.


There are so many different types of gloves manufactured for safety purposes these days and the technology of fiber and materials has improved vastly. Whereas gloves often used to be bulky and awkward to wear, these days they can fit like a second skin and afford great protection from cuts and other exposures. In fact, there are so many different types of safety glove now available, you need to take care that the gloves you choose guard against the particular exposures.


One of the most common injuries on a construction site involves the improper use of guards on hand tools, especially skil-saws, when guards have been propped open and the blade is rotating, even after the power has been turned off. When you consider just how important hands and fingers are to you at home, work, and play, taking a risk with hand tools without the proper guards and all the available protection just isn’t worth it.