No matter what tool you use at your job, the most important tools are your hands. When you sustain injury to them, you risk days or weeks of painful recovery. Worse, you may experience long-term productivity loss due to limited mobility or strength.
43% of workplace hand injuries happen in manufacturing, mining and agriculture. Understanding the potential injuries may help identify what to expect in treatment or recovery.
1. Cuts and lacerations
Cuts to the hand damage your vessels, which leads to bleeding. Deep enough cuts may impact nerves and muscle tissue. Keeping pressure on these to stem bleeding is important before cleaning and stitching a wound.
Flames, electrical currents or industrial chemicals may burn your skin and lead to infection. Treatment involves anything from aloe vera and pain medication to skin grafts depending on the severity.
3. Open fractures
When the bones in your hand break and pierce out of your skin, you have an open fracture. This raises the likelihood of infection and damage. It may even constitute amputation, depending on a surgeon’s judgment.
4. High-pressure injection
Often the result of spray or paint guns, nozzle pressures of industrial equipment may reach as high as 10,000 psi and can severely damage fingers or hands. While these injuries may seem innocuous on the surface, they may damage deep and risk infection.
Documentation and compensation after a hand injury
When you sustain a hand injury at work, there is a lot of paperwork, pain and recovery to attend to. It is important to gather information and resources when navigating your unique situation so that you increase your chances of a successful workers’ compensation application.