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Workers? hands suffer most injury

According to recent safety performance data from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), hands and fingers are far and away amongst the most frequent injuries.

Over 160 workplace injuries last year were to the hands or fingers, a drastically larger figure than its nearest corollary, the hips and back, which logged only 60 incidents.

While the injuries occurred most frequently during manual labour, significant amounts of incidents occurred to maintenance tradespeople, drilling operators, process and production operators, admin, management and engineers.

Damione Wright, managing director of glove manufacturer and distributor Performance On Hand, says he finds the rate of hand injury incidences ?worrying?.

?While hard hats and goggles seem like second nature to most manual labourers, hands are the most neglected, least protected part of the body as workers think that gives them greater dexterity and flexibility when performing tasks,? said Mr Wright. ?This is a misconception as the right gloves for the job will improve your performance.?

Mr Wright advises organisations and individual workers to choose the best quality gloves designed for the task at hand. With careful selection, workers should be able to perform tasks as if their hands were bare.

?The industry?s safety performance is already strong but there is no room for complacency in a high hazard industry such as ours,? said APPEA chief executive Belinda Robinson at the launch of its Stand Together for Safety program. ?We must continually seek to identify warning signals and seek opportunities for improvement. The only acceptable injury rate is zero.?

Along with ensuring the safety of their workers, companies stand to save money by concentrating on hand protection.

?Beyond the physical benefits to employees by reducing hand and finger injuries, employers can reduce time off for work-related injuries and compensation claims and by choosing quality, long lasting gloves, they will see a great financial saving as well,? said Damione Wright. The company regularly holds a ?Glove Academy? as part of its own training and safety programs.

Source: Performance on Hand/McIntyre Management & Marketing

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