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Hand Injuries: Common Workplace Injuries

A worker’s hands can be some of their most valuable tools. Your hands are a crucial part of nearly any job. However, much like eye injuries, hand injuries are some of the most common in the workplace. With how important they are, it’s important to know how you can keep your hands safe…

Hand Injuries: Avoiding Common Injuries

Most common injuries

It’s important to first be aware of the most common hand injuries. Often times, cuts and punctures will be common, especially if you work around sharp or pointed objects. However, there’s also the risk of lacerations, which are deeper cuts that could cause more serious damage.

There’s also crushes and fractures. Crushes occur when your hand gets caught between something, usual some machinery, and another hard surface like a wall. These could cause permanent damage, especially to the muscles. Fractures can also occur, as well as occurring after slips and falls.

Using protective gear

Protective gear goes a long way in avoiding hand injuries. The most used form of hand protection are, of course, gloves. However, not every kind of glove will work for every kind of job. That’s why it’s important to chose the right glove type for the job at hand. 

For example, if you’re working with sharp objects, you’ll want gloves that are tougher with more layers of protection. Yet if you’re working with hotter objects, then you’ll need more heat resistance. Furthermore, if you handle chemicals, then you’ll need gloves which can protect against chemical burns. These are just a few examples, but it ultimately comes down to knowing what kind of protection you need while on the job.

Be smart when using machines

​Gloves are just one part of preventing hand injuries. You’ll also need to be smart and safe when using machinery to help prevent crushes and fractures. This means being alert when using any machinery, as well as using any safety features they have.

Getting distracted while using machinery increases your chances of accidentally injuring your hands. That’s why your focus should remain on the machine instead of anything else that could distract you. Also, many machines will have safety guards or other protections that you can use to keep yourself safe while using or reaching inside of them.

Documenting Injuries: Worker’s Comp Steps

Many times, an injury is not as simple as one bruise on one arm. An injury can any part of the body, all which need documentation— no matter how small . Documenting injuries is an important step in your worker’s comp case because it will help your case. Because insurance companies are reluctant to make pay outs and cover charges, this documentation will be important during all parts of your case.

Documenting Injuries: Why It Matters

What to Document

You should be documenting injuries relating to your workplace incident. For example, let’s say you fell at work and used your arms to break your fall. The main injury might be your knee with scratches covering it. What you might not see is the shoulder or elbow pain you are suffering because your arms helped cushion your fall. Then, after you document the injury, and make sense of the situation, it can add context to how your arms might hurt as a result of the injury.

When to Document It

Documenting all relative injuries as soon as they happen is imperative to a successful worker’s compensation case. You should have a discussion with your doctor about your injuries. Documenting injuries does not have to be a formal, long-form write up. You can simply tell your doctor you’ve had some pain in that area. You can also document it in your pain journal. For most major injuries, reports should be made within a few days of the accident.

Why It Matters

An accurate injury report from a doctor or the emergency room will be your best friend in a worker’s compensation case. Make sure all details are included, no detail is too small. Sometimes, insurance companies will try to use missed details or incorrect information to discredit the incident. You can make sure this does not happen by documenting injuries personally and fact-checking doctor’s reports.

To conclude: no injury or pain is too small to document. When documenting injuries, make sure you are including all relevant information. Sometimes, even things you might think are irrelevant can be helpful to your case. Bruises, cuts, and small swelling that you believe will just heal with time are still important to include in your injury documentation.

Doctor Communication

When it comes to talking to your doctor, you should be honest. In all scenarios regarding your health, honesty is the best policy. But what about during a worker’s compensation case? After an injury, your patient to doctor communication about your injuries should be completely honest. It’s important to paint a clear picture of what happened. Keep in mind, though, this description will not only be heard by your doctor. Your medical records can go under review by lawyers, insurance companies, and judges.

Doctor Communication: Rules to Go By

Be Specific

There is a connection between all parts of the body. Nothing is separate or its own entity. If you are having problems with your knees after an injury mainly regarding your back, tell your doctor. He or she can decide if there is a relation to your worker’s compensation case injury or not. Doctor communication should be thorough and full of details.

Be Knowledgeable

Know what you want to tell your doctor before going in. It might be useful to write down some small details so you don’t forget. Keep in mind that you should make the most of the doctor communication you have. It could be some time before you get back to see that specific doctor.

Be Friendly

Being friendly to office staff, doctors, and nurses will get you further than being rude. Your doctor communication should come across as serious but friendly. Nurses and doctors will be more willing to listen and help if you aren’t rude. Remember that they didn’t get you in this position and are simply trying to help.

Be Honest

You should be honest with your doctor about any pre-existing conditions or medications you are taking. It could save your life because the way some medications interact with each other could kill you. Doctor communication is mostly private, so you should not feel embarrassed or afraid to confide in them.

When it comes to healing after an injury, honesty is the best policy. You should avoid saying things like “I’m fine” if that’s not completely true. Your doctor communication does not only have to be about how good you are feeling; it can be about how bad you are feeling, too.

Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Many workplaces make use of computers, especially in offices. However, all that typing and clicking can eventually lead to carpal tunnel. This could seriously get in the way of you doing your job effectively. However, there are some ways that you can help protect yourself…

Carpal Tunnel: Repetitive Stress Injuries

Use less pressure

Often times, when we get used to doing something, we never give it a second thought. One of these areas can be how much force we use. For instance, you could grip a tool too hard when you don’t need to. Or, in this case, you use too much force when typing when gentle keystrokes are all you need.

Using too much pressure and force when typing isn’t the best thing for your hands and wrists. Doing so will add a lot of unnecessary strain on them which could lead to carpal tunnel. Plus, it’ll keep your hands tense, further complicating things. Instead, try to ease off the pressure and keep your hands more relaxed while you work.

Take a break

It’s always important to give yourself a break when you need it. This is pretty easy to see if you work at a job that requires a lot of physical activity. If you don’t take a break, your job quality can suffer, and your chance of injury can go up. However, for people who work desk jobs, this can be harder to realize.

While a desk job might not be a strenuous as other jobs, it still presents hazards like carpal tunnel. That’s why it’s still important to take the occasional break. A quick 10-15 minute break every hour, for example, is a good idea. Plus, you’ll also be giving not just your hands a break, but other areas like your eyes one as well.

Do some stretches

Part of preventing carpal tunnel is keeping your hands nice and loose. A great way to do this is by doing stretches. As it turns out, there’s plenty of different hand and wrist stretches you can do at the comfort of your own desk. 

One of the nice things about these stretches is that they compliment your breaks quite well. These stretches are quick, easy, and can be done at nearly any time. Doing them will help you keep your hands loose for the rest of your working day.

Computer Eye Problems

Every profession comes with it’s own set of risks. However, when you think of work-related injuries, you likely picture broken bones, falling materials, burns, or something of the like. However, work-related injuries come in all forms and fashions. Take, for example, computer eye strain. Computer eye strain originates from an obvious source— spending your workday staring into a computer. In fact, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint for computer workers. So, how do know when you’re on the receiving end of computer eye problems? What can you do to prevent it? And lastly, what can you do to treat the damage? 

Computer Eye Problems: Common Computer Worker Injuries 

Prevention and Management 

Comprehensive eye exams are a necessity when you spend most of your days in front of the computer. Therefore, it’s important that you take measures to prevent damage, but also to document changes in your eyesight in case of injury. When seeing an eye doctor, make sure to tell them how often you work on a computer, how much time you spend there, and they can test accordingly.

Take a break every now and then

.rd documents, or something of the like. In doing so, you might forget to blink or rest your eyes from time to time. Eye doctors have a “20-20-20” rule that they encourage people prone to computer eye problems to follow. Once every 20 minutes, look away from your screen, at an object 20+ feet away, for at least 20 second. Doing this 20-20-20 exercise gives your eyes a moment to relax, and reduce fatigue. 

Modifying eyewear 

If you wear glasses, or even if you don’t, consider introducing customized glasses into your daily uniform. Computer glasses can help to reduce or eliminate computer eye problems by reducing exposure to harmful blue light that radiates from digital devices. This is a feature that can be added onto your existing glasses, or you can get a specific pair that only have this function. 

In short, computer eye problems are extremely common for people who work primarily from the computer. However, that’s not to say every computer worker is will end up with eye issues. But, you have to take the time and put the work in to avoid it. See your eye doctor, express concern, and keep record of how your eyes improve, or worsen over time. 

Scaffolding Safety:

There are many different positions in the workforce which might lead to your requiring the use of scaffolding. Maybe you work in construction, architecture, window cleaning, or even painting. Whatever the profession, it’s important that scaffolding safety be used every step of the way. From construction, to removal, and everything in between— there is a danger to this workplace necessity. However, there are plenty of ways that you can combat it. 

Scaffolding Safety: Avoiding Unnecessary Injury 

It starts with construction… 

As with anything safety-related, there should be a seasoned professional in charge of constructing the scaffolding you’ll be using for any job. When scaffolding isn’t built correctly, it might not be stable enough to hold there necessary weight, and you run the risk of a dangerous, or even deadly, collapse. Hire someone qualified to do the work, and remember to do your own research. 

While you want a qualified person in the driver’s seat— you should be prepared to ask a few questions: what footing will you use? Are the planks strong enough to support the necessary weight? And lastly, will there be the necessary support wires and ropes to support heavy loads attached to the scaffolding? While a seasoned professional will obviously have all of these supplies and questions at the ready— you never can be too sure. 

Workplace safety 

Just as you want qualified professionals building the scaffolding, you also want professionals using them. Scaffolding is often a bit wobbly, regardless of sound construction. Furthermore, it can also be quite tight in terms of work space. Slip and fall injuries are a common risk associated with scaffolding, and that’s where safety comes in. 

Avoid slipping hazards 

Keep your scaffolding clear of obstructions and hazards, such as rain, ice, or slippery materials— such as paint. Furthermore, keep your tripping hazards in place, such as your tools. Work only under safe conditions. No high winds, no rain, and no distractions. 

Safety equipment 

Lastly, make sure you’re using the proper safety equipment when working on the scaffolding. From non-slip shoes, to safety harnesses, hard hats, — safety is the number one priority in any and all work environments.