Fingers and fingernails accounted for 5% of all lost-time claims received, by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, from the construction industry between 2010 and 2014*. That might not seem very high but consider that fingers and fingernails were among the top five ‘parts of the body injured’ in the loss time claims for that same period of time*. (* Source: WHSCC Industry fact Sheet 2014 – Construction). In 2014 alone the Commission had 138 claims for hand injuries within the construction industry.
There are many ways that fingers and hands can be injured or lost including burns, cuts, amputations, compression, repetitive stress, etc. Here are a few tips for protecting your fingers: Wear gloves that are specific to your task, in good condition and properly fitting; Always use safety guards on saws and other power tools; Use the right tool for the job; De-energize any source of electricity that you may come in contact with, even for small jobs; Ensure adequate lighting and space to do the job safely; Consider ergonomics and take short breaks when working in awkward positions for long periods of time and/or doing repetitive work that creates strain on fingers, hands or wrists; Always stay focused on the task at hand.
Consider how important your fingers are in just about every facet of life and protect them!