It’s Time to Give Safety a Hand
What’s the most important tool you use at work? What about the tools you use all day, every day, even when you’re at home? Your hands! Unlike other tools that are easily replaced, your hands can be severely—even permanently—damaged, with no easy replacement.
Although all of us work with our hands to some extent, our technicians’ hands are particularly vulnerable to injury from lacerations, refrigerant burns, heat burns and other on-the-job dangers.
Safety Is Literally in Your Hands
Hand lacerations and burns are fully preventable, Zach says. It’s just a matter of preparation and attention while on the job. Here are a few tips to help you keep your hands out of harm’s way.
Do a hazard assessment. Start each day in the field by identifying any risks to your hands, especially lacerations and refrigerant burns, and plan accordingly.
Wear gloves. The best way to prevent hand injuries is to wear the correct type of glove for the job, such as leather gloves, cut-resistant gloves or nitrile gloves for refrigeration. Wear glove grabbers to ensure your gloves are always available; one end attaches to your belt loop and the other to your gloves.
Don’t take risks. If you mistakenly leave your gloves in your truck, go out and get them before you start the job. “‘This will only take a second’ are dangerous words,” Zach says. “Stop work if you have to, but always take the time to put on gloves.”
Remember, you’re not Superman. No matter how long you’ve been working with your hands or how many calluses you have, your hands are still vulnerable to severe injury that can take you off the job for days or weeks. Always take the time to put on gloves when you’re at risk for lacerations or burns.
Hand safety isn’t complicated; it’s just a matter of thinking ahead and always being prepared with the right type of glove for the job. The moments you take to step back, assess your environment and put on gloves can save you from days or weeks of pain and disability.