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Who has never suffered from a hand injury? Hand injuries are the most common wound, especially at work.
The sectors that are affected the most by hand and arm injuries are production, wholesale and retail trade, construction, health and social activities, administrative and assistance activities, accommodation and hospitality activities, catering, transport and storage, agriculture, forestry, and finally, fishing.
As we can see, all sectors can be concerned by hand accidents, it is therefore very important to take care of our hand protection. Although hazards can arise in any work environment and it is impossible for an employer to avoid them completely, a company can take preventative measures to significantly reduce the risk of injury and to ensure the protection of employees, workers, and of the working environment via personal protective equipment (PPE).
Hand injuries in general
Some figures related to hand injuries
The hand is a useful tool we use every day as much at home as at work. It contains 48 nerves, 123 ligaments and tendons that work in harmony, enabling us to perform painstaking actions, and the 27 hand bones make up 28% of the entire skeleton.
Furthermore, the hands and arms are the parts of the body most affected by accidents at work: one in three accidents at the workplace is due to a hand emergency, and arm and hands accidents combined represent 41% of non-fatal accidents.
Therefore, the average time lost from work due to a hand injury varies between 7 and 21 days.
Almost half of the hand accidents are serious which can lead to sequelae and handicaps. There is a very low mortality rate but there could be a real impact on your quality of life and your ability to work.
Nevertheless, these figures should be tempered: 70% of employees with hand injuries were not wearing gloves at the time of the accident, and the remaining 30% of injuries were due to the use of damaged or unsuitable gloves or protection for the present hazard.
What are the most frequent hand injuries?
In order to be able to protect better, it is important to be aware of the most common injuries.
Within the European Union, 306,709 hand injuries, 688,186 finger injuries, and 148,644 wrist injuries occur each year.
Fortunately, most are superficial injuries (980,000), but bone fractures still account for 160,000 injuries to the hand, fingers, or wrist, and much worse, traumatic amputations account for 689 injuries to the hands, 26 to the wrists, and above all 12,370 of finger injuries.
Regarding burns, they concern 25,000 injuries to the hand, fingers, or wrist.
Finally, dislocations, sprains, and strains represent 140,580 injuries to the hand, fingers, or wrist and are regularly fatigue injuries.
Cuts, punctures, and burns, the most common types of hand injuries in the workplace, most often occur when there is a lack of personal protective equipment or a lack of training.
What are the economic consequences of hand injuries?
While these injuries can lead to sequelae, hand injuries have serious economic consequences as well, forming a large part of the work-related accidents and injuries which cost the European Union 476 billion euros each year.
In the engineering sector, for example, injuries result in an average of six days of sick leave. In addition, a third of companies report more than 10 workplace accidents per year, and the hand is the part of the body most often injured. Regarding the food industry, it alone accounts for 140,000 injuries requiring three or more days off work.
How to be sure your PPE is adequate?
As we have seen, it is important to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid injuries in the workplace.
To find the right PPE, this little checklist can be used:
- Is the size correct?
- Is it comfortable?
- How does the employee feel when using PPE?
- Are all the components of the PPE compatible?
- Is the job done faster without PPE? Do employees, therefore, work without PPE and without reporting it?
- Does the PPE generate excessive heat or does it accidentally get caught in machinery mechanisms?
Wearing PPE is very important, but injuries can also happen when people wear PPE that is not adequate to the hazard involved. This is why it is important to assess whether or not the protective glove you wear is adapted to the present situation.
Focus on the solutions Wonder Grip offers for each risk
Lacerations and amputations
What are LACERATIONS?
A laceration is a wound that occurs when skin, tissue, and/or muscle is torn or cut open. Lacerations may be deep or shallow, long or short, and wide or narrow. Most lacerations are the result of the skin hitting an object, or an object hitting the skin with force.
Wounds caused by sharp instruments being the most frequent and serious injuries (one in five times a tendon or a nerve is affected), let’s see what we can do to protect our hands from them.
What to do in case of a cut?
- Wash your hand under the tap then soap both hands.
- Do not use colored disinfectants.
- Apply constant pressure to stop the bleeding.
- Keep your hand in the air to reduce swelling.
In case of complete amputation:
- Gather all the severed fragments in a compress and place them in waterproof plastic.
- Close the bag and place it in a box containing ice.
- Wrap the amputated end in a pressure bandage. Raise the hand.
- Immediately notify an emergency hand service or emergency department.
- Leave the injured person on an empty stomach for surgery.
What protective gloves do Wonder Grip offer to avoid injuries such as cuts?
At Wonder Grip, around twenty of the gloves we offer are cut-resistant. To certify the resistance to mechanical hazards of a glove, we can rely on the EN 388 standard. It tests abrasion resistance, blade cut resistance, tear resistance, as well as puncture resistance.
For example, our Dexcut® range offers protective gloves of different cut protection levels (C, D, E).
Let’s look at our WG-787L DEXCUT® glove: this protective glove offers a grade D cut resistance, with an EN 388 score of 4X32D. The 30cm length allows increased protection, and the glove also offers excellent tactile sensitivity and superior comfort. Finally, the reinforced thumb crotch guarantees an extended use life and safety.
What are burns?
A burn is an injury that, depending on its severity, is characterized by lesions or even destruction of the skin, soft parts, and sometimes bones. Burns can be caused by fire, chemicals, overexposure to the sun, severe cold, or by a rubbing effect. There are four types of burns, classified according to their intensity, from the 1st-degree burn, superficial, to the 4th-degree burn, also called “charring”. The most serious burns must be treated urgently.
What to do in case of a heat burn?
If the burn is slight, after a long time underwater, apply a fatty substance to protect it. Then, apply a sterile compress if the burnt area is to be exposed to the open air. When you are in a healthy environment, remove the compress to allow the wound to breathe. Monitor the lesion until complete healing. Consult a doctor in case of a persistent burn.
In the event of a severe burn, call the emergency room after spraying the burn with running water and laying the victim down. Over the phone, describe the injury and follow medical advice to the letter. You may be advised to call a doctor or wait for help there.
What protective gloves do Wonder Grip offer to avoid injuries such as heat burns?
At Wonder Grip, around twenty of our protective gloves are heat resistant. To certify the resistance to heat of a glove, we can rely on the EN 407 standard, testing, among others, resistance to contact heat.
For example, our WG-333 ROCK & STONE glove: this protective glove offers a resistance to contact heat up to 250°C, with an EN 407 score of X2XXXX. This glove also provides exceptional grip, cut resistance, and resistance to cold. It is specially designed for heavy work.
What to do in case of a cold burn?
For the cold burn, this tends to be a case of frostbite. In this situation, it is necessary to resort to treatments with heparin to restore vascularization. You have to warm up, calm down the pain, and quickly go to a specialized center. The cold causes intravascular thrombosis so heparin, which is an anticoagulant, will help to free the vessels.
What protective gloves do Wonder Grip offers to avoid injuries such as cold burn?
At Wonder Grip, around 15 of our gloves are compatible with cold contact. To certify the resistance to cold of a glove, we can rely on the EN 511 standard, testing, and resistance to contact cold.
Looking at our WG-338W THERMO PLUS DOUBLE glove: this protective glove offers a resistance to contact cold and keeps your hands warm down to -20°C, with an EN 511 score of X2X. This glove is also 100% waterproof and is highly visible thanks to the yellow color, offering an increased safety on the job.
What to do in case of a burn due to chemicals?
- Water abundantly under a tap without rubbing for 15 minutes.
- After checking the victim’s state of consciousness, the wound must be cooled, slowed down, and then stop the progression of the burn in the flesh, reduce the pain and stop the impregnation by the chemical product.
- Immediately remove rings, watches, bracelets, clothing soaked in chemicals in the shower without peeling off clothing stuck to the skin (clothing can serve as a reservoir for chemicals).
- Never cover a chemical burn with a bandage: this could confine the few chemical particles remaining in the flesh and worsen the injury.
- Sit the victim
- Call the poison control center for further instructions when you know the name of the offending product.
What protective gloves do Wonder Grip offer to avoid injuries such as chemical burns?
At Wonder Grip, some of our protective gloves are efficient against chemicals. To certify the resistance to chemicals of a glove, we must rely on the EN 374 standard.
Let’s look at our WG-658L CHEM DEFENDER glove: this protective glove offers resistance to chemicals in dry, oily, or humid environments, being EN 374-certified. The glove is also 30-cm long, offering increased protection, and it also provides heat resistance.
What are musculoskeletal disorders?
The majority of chronic hand pain belongs with the Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) family.
These non-traumatic conditions of the joint are due to significant stress on the elements surrounding the joint: muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, cartilage, etc.
The disorders always result in painful symptoms and reduced functional capacity, which is in general temporary but can sometimes become permanent.
MSDs are one of the most worrying issues in occupational health today, due to a considerable human and socio-professional cost.
Moreover, these diseases are constantly increasing and represent the leading cause of occupational disease, and in addition, 47% of MSD cases involve the hands and wrists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis are the most frequently encountered MSDs.
What solutions are offered by Wonder Grip to prevent MSDs?
We created the Wonder Grip technology™. It consists of creating specific asperities on the coated surface of the glove, hence reproducing the sucking effect of a force cup. This specifically designed augmented grip technology offers the user considerably increased grip equally in damp, dry, or oily conditions. In other words, Wonder Grip Technology™ reduces the force required to move objects and considerably increases grip control of all objects, in both dry and slippery environments.
Results of tests conducted by BOKEN Japan, an independent materials test and control agency, demonstrated an increase in the friction coefficient, i.e., prehension force or grip, of 58% for Wonder Grip Technology™ latex coatings, and 36% for Wonder Grip Technology™ nitrile coatings.
Our hands are our most precious tool, find the right solution to protect them from the dangers you face. At Wonder Grip, some of our protective gloves, such as the WG-333+ ROCK&STONE+ also provide a high protection against cross-risks (cuts, heat, cold).