by Dr. Isabel Perry,
“The Safety Doctor”
The hands and feet contain more bones than any other single
part of the body. We use them all day, to
do everything; they “take a licking and keep on ticking.” Feet provide us with mobility, and hands can
do the most intricate maneuvers, but most of us never give them a second
How many times have you reached for something without
looking and stubbed a finger? How often have you hit your finger with a hammer,
slammed your fingers in a door, or burned your hand on the stove? It happens all the time! For those few
minutes we are totally aware of our fingers. Soon, however, we forget them
again and keep doing whatever it was that hurt them in the first place. We take them for granted.
* Hand injuries account for one third of the
two million disabling on-the-job accidents each year.
* Eighty percent of these injuries
are caused by pinch points!
Hand protection is not a new development. Gloves have been
considered important for hundreds of years.
When using machinery, pinch points can catch us when we’re
not looking. Pulleys and belts can form in-running nips, a type of pinch point
that can draw the hand in and cause severe damage.
Never wear gloves around in-running nips. The glove can be caught and the hand pulled
right in and hurt.
Wear appropriate work gloves when handling rough
materials and when hands are directly involved with lifting or moving objects.
Take time to remove or bend down protruding
nails, splinters and sharp edges on materials before you begin working with
Always use machinery guards.
Always replace a removed guard and lock your
machinery before reaching into it.
When moving objects with a hand cart or truck,
make sure that you have sufficient room to get through doorways and small
spaces with enough clearance for cart and hands.
Be equally cautious when setting down loads.
Keep hands free of grease and oil – slippery
hands can get you in trouble. If you get
grease or oil on your hands, clean them right away.
For safety’s sake, don’t wear any rings when
working – a ring caught in machinery or on a protruding object can badly damage
Wear gloves to pick up broken glass, nails or
other sharp objects – including when sweeping up. Never attempt to handle these things with
your bare hands.
Despite the precautions we take, our hands will receive
minor injuries from time to time. Always
treat these injuries promptly, so they don’t become infected.
Pay attention to what you are doing.
Keep an eye on pinch points and in-running nips.
Keep guards in place on pinch points.
Have minor cuts and scratches treated to prevent
Wear gloves to avoid cuts and splinters.
Don’t wear gloves around in-running nips.
Keep hands free of grease and oil.
Don’t wear rings when working.
Our hands will do whatever we ask them to, whether it’s wise
or not. Use common sense when you use
Dr. Isabel Perry is
an internationally-known safety expert, motivational speaker, author, and safety
educator. Based in
, she can be reached at 407-291-1209 or via e-mail at