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The importance of protecting workers from suffering hand injuries

While the specific work duties of individuals who are employed in the manufacturing, healthcare and construction industries may vary greatly; all rely heavily upon their hands to complete assigned work. It's important, therefore, that employers take steps to protect workers' from suffering hand injuries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hand injuries are the second most common type of injuries suffered by U.S. workers. For those hand injuries reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 70 percent included workers who were not wearing gloves.

A cut or puncture to the hand can be serious and require both immediate and ongoing medical care as well as recovery time. Unfortunately, many employers fail to provide workers with gloves that provide adequate protection or fail to enforce safety policies requiring workers to wear gloves.

Today's work gloves come in a variety of materials that, depending on the profession and assigned job duties, provide protection, flexibility, dexterity and comfort. To help protect workers against suffering cuts and other serious injuries to the hands, employers would be wise to ensure they not only provide gloves that protect workers from specific hazards, but also make sure workers wear this important piece of protective gear.

Individuals who work in manufacturing and construction are often operating machinery and equipment and carrying heavy and sharp objects and materials. Therefore, these workers are especially vulnerable to suffering injuries to their hands which may result in a worker incurring hefty medical expenses and also inhibit a worker's ability to return to work.

Workers’ compensation benefits help provide workers who are injured on the job with compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. An attorney can assist in helping an individual navigate the complex workers' compensation process to help ensure that he or she receives the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Gloves That Fit the Worker and the Job," Shellty Baize, Feb. 1, 2015

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