Why Hand Injury Prevention?
The wrist and hand was the most common site of injury at 38% of all work-related hospitalisations in Australia – the majority of these involved fingers or thumbs (24% of work-related hospitalisations).
From work-related hospitalisations in Australia data, we know that open wounds are the most common type of hand and wrist injury (between 27.5% and 35.2%). Glove use is associated with a lower risk of this type of injury (lacerations and punctures).
The age segment with the greatest frequency of wrist and hand injuries is males aged between 20 and 25. In Australian male and female workers the vast majority of hand and wrist injuries occur between the ages of 20 and 55.
What is HandSafe?
KINNECT’s HandSafe injury prevention program is designed to change employees at-risk behaviours and reduce the incidence and impact of hand and hand related injuries with simple, practical and realistic techniques. The HandSafe program is based on a review of workplace and historical injury data. This means the training makes more sense to employees because it’s specific to them, their workplace / work task and the business.
To ensure understanding and behavioural change, KINNECT’s HandSafe Program consists of the following:
Theory Presentation Delivered at the Workplace
- Recognise at-risk behaviours;
- Address issues such as negative consequence of hand injuries and how easily they happen;
- Prevention tactics;
- Simple hazard control (relevant gloves for the task etc.).
Practical Demonstrations and Activities
- Tasks to increase awareness of the negative effect of a hand injury;
- Identifying correct grips with different tools;
- Review of gloves provided by the workplace / individual.
- Information to be displayed on posters and displayed in workshops / meeting rooms for awareness.
What are the Areas Addressed in a HandSafe Program?
P – Prepare and Plan
- Hierarchy of controls
I – Implement Correct Equipment
- Correct tool for the job
- Correct glove for the task
N – Note where your hands are
- Be aware of pinch points, sharp edges, crush hazards, hot surfaces and chemicals
C – Communicate
- Improves performance
- Increases awareness
H – Have a break
- Fatigue control
- Micro breaks
- Minimise repetitive movements or sustained positions
The main outcome to be achieved of the HandSafe injury prevention program is to reduce the overall number and severity of hand injuries through behaviour change.
- Work-Related Injuries Resulting In Hospitalisation – July 2006 to June 2009. Safe Work Australia, February 2013. Web: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/756/WR-Injuries-Hospitalisation-July-2006-June-2009.pdf
- Work-Related Hand And Wrist Injuries In Australia. Australian Safety And Compensation Council, July 2008. Web: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/202/WorkRelatedHandandWristInjuriesinAustralia_2008_PDF.pdf
- Sorock, G.S. et al. (2004). Glove Use and the Relative Risk of Acute Hand Injury: A Case-Crossover Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 1: 182–190.