Safety is in your handsThursday, April 13, 2017
The bones, muscles and nerves working together to move your hands are nothing short of miraculous. The dexterity and ability to manipulate your fingers and thumbs sets humans apart from all other animals. Your hands allow you to operate heavy machinery at work, then go home to tuck your children into bed or tenderly hold the hand of someone you love.
To lose the use of your hands would be a devastating blow. On average, doctors in emergency rooms in New York and across the country treat 16 million hand injuries each year. About 75 percent of all disabling work injuries are hand-related. If you are among those statistics, you understand the frustration of a hand injury.
Getting a handle on common accidents
Even minor hand injuries can be inconvenient. Things you take for granted, like tying your shoes or opening a water bottle, you now rely on someone else to do for you. Workplace hand injuries can mean a moment at the first aid kit or an extended stay in intensive care. Some on-the-job injuries include:
- Strains from excessive force, repetitive motion or awkward positioning of the hand or wrist
- Burns from hot surfaces, chemicals or electricity
- Cuts that range from scratches to severed tendons
- Fractured or crushed bones
Most traumatic hand injuries occur when tools or machinery strike a worker, though repetitive strain injuries may occur in any line of work.
Safety advocates urge workers to keep their minds on the job at all times. Knowing where the potential dangers are before putting your hand down may prevent countless injuries. As always, using the best protective equipment for the job, including machine guards and gloves, is a crucial part of protecting your most important tools — your hands.
Someone to lend a helping hand
Within moments after your accident, you probably realized that a hand injury would seriously impede your ability to do even the simplest tasks for yourself, let alone work to provide for your family. While you may be counting on workers’ compensation to cover your medical expenses and any future treatments related to your injury, you may have already figured out that this doesn’t always happen without a fight.
If your employer’s insurance company is disputing your claim or sending you to doctors who aren’t helping your recovery, you may need some professional help. A workers’ compensation attorney who has spent years advocating for injured employees will use that experience in your fight for proper medical treatment and the compensation you deserve.