With unprotected nip and pinch points being prevalent in many workplaces, it comes as no surprise that many workers suffer hand injuries. Hand injuries range from minor scratches and fractures to catastrophic injuries such as amputation, loss of digits, or degloving accidents.
Considered to be catastrophic, degloving injuries involve the skin being peeled away from fingers or the entire hand, exposing the bone underneath. Degloving injuries are noted for how painful they are, since the hands and fingers have an abundance of nerve endings in them. Perhaps more devastating than the pain or loss that accompanies the injury is the worker’s usual inability to continue on in their career field.
While generally the result of the aforementioned poorly protected nip and pinch points, degloving accidents can happen from any number of reasons in any given field, with workers in the oil and gas industry being the most vulnerable. Hand injuries account for 50 percent of all injuries in this field. According OSHA, the most common causes for degloving injuries include:
• Exposure to infectious or biological agents
• Severe cold or heat
• Being caught between to objects
• Exposure to caustic chemicals
• Defective machinery