Risk factors for occupational hand injuries
Five thousand twenty seven occupational hand injuries treated at a hand and microsurgery hospital between 1992 and 2005 were included in the study reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
The most frequent injuries were traumatic amputation of wrist and hand (53.2%), open wound of wrist and hand (46.3%). Considering all injuries, 60.9% of agricultural machines, 52.7% of metal working machines, 54.7% of transmission machinery, and 42.8% of wood and assimilated machines affected the right hand. Powered wood cutters, presses, planning and milling machines, and machine belts were the most frequent five machines involved in injuries, each having a different finger pattern. The proportion of machinery among all hand injuries was significantly decreasing with time.
A stricter and more frequent supervision of the use of protective equipment and prohibition of the purchase of machinery not complying with the regulations could contribute to the prevention of hand injuries, according to the study.