If you’re seeing the hashtag #SafeHands a lot these days, it’s because the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has launched an awareness and education campaign to help workers and employers focus specifically on the safety of hands, the second mostly commonly injured body part in the workplace.
121K hand injuries a year
More than 42% of nonfatal occupational injuries to upper extremities in 2017 involving days away from work in private industry involved hands. Of the 286,150 nonfatal occupational injuries to upper extremities in 2017 involving days away from work in private industry, 121,860 involved hands, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
The National Safety Council notes that a hand injury can cost from $540 to $26,000 in terms of lost productivity, workers comp and liability insurance costs.
According to OSHA — 70.9 percent of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented with personal protective equipment, specifically safety gloves. Yet, 70% of workers don’t wear hand protection. And of those who do, 30% don’t wear the right kind of glove for the task.
The organization also released an industry-wide standard designed for industrial gloves to protect workers. The new standard — ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection — builds upon the widely used ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification. Copies of ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 can be purchased online from ISEA and from ANSI’s licensed resellers.