The goal for any safety organization is to get that magical number zero. Nobody wants injured workers.
Getting to down to zero injuries can seem like a daunting task; here are some tips that you can use on the job to reduce the risk of your workers getting hand injuries.
1. Analyze Hand Safety Data, Look for Trending
Take a look at your overall safety data where hand injuries are concerned. This data can provide clues as to what the major causes of your hand injuries are. Do not just look at the data on incident reports.
Consider implementing a near miss reporting plan to help predict where injuries might occur in the future. You will also want to look back at previous accidents for ways that might prevent them from happening again.
2. Engage in Job-hazard Analysis or Assessments
Before any job is started, sit down with your safety engineers and have them look over your work plan. A detailed work plan should include what the workers are going to be doing, what tools and equipment they are going to be using and in what environment the work is to be performed.
Using all of this information, try to spot where in the job task are potential areas for hand injuries. This can expose any potential risks to workers during the job and allow you to come up with plans to mitigate that risk.
3. Make Sure the Right Hand Protection is Selected for the Job
Based on your job-hazard analysis, pick the type of hand protection that will best fit the work. Make sure that the protection will handle all of the job hazards. If one type of glove will not cover all situations, then multiple types of hand protection might be needed in order to provide a safe environment for that task.
We cannot say enough how important training is on the work site. Once the risks have been identified and proper hand protection selected, walk through the job tasks with the employees doing the job. Make sure that they understand the hazards for the job they are performing.
Also work with them to understand they types of injuries that might occur and how to spot and treat them immediately.
Finally, train them on proper usage of the gloves they are using. Make sure they know the limitations of their hand protection and how not to exceed it.
5. Audits and Compliance
Make sure that your workers are aware of the importance of the gloves they have been issued and how important it is that they wear them. Conduct periodic audits of your work sites to ensure that compliance with the safety policy is being followed. This will help identify and eliminate any issue that might crop up with workers not following safety policy, and it will address problems before injuries occur.
6. Feedback from Management and Labor
Make sure to open your safety organization up for feedback. Be open to discussing major issues with chosen gloves or newly identified hazards that may have been missed in analysis.
There is always risk involved on job sites, however proper protection and planning can help reduce that risk. Having an evolving safety process to cover not only current issues but address future ones before they come up can help you achieve that magic zero in your injury reports.
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