Construction workers are among the most vulnerable workers to contact injuries, according to the National Safety Council. And the most valuable tools to a builder – the hands – often take the brunt of these injuries.
Due to the nature of home building work, hand injuries often come with extended time off as the injury heals to a point where the hand can be used effectively once more.
Any discussion about hand safety begins with gloves. While most builders and contractors have a favorite pair, different gloves are meant for different levels of protection:
- Cotton and fabric gloves keep hands clean
- Coated fabric gloves protect against moderate concentrated chemicals
- Rubber, plastic or synthetic gloves are good for cleaning or working with oils
- Leather gloves can resist sparks and moderate heat
- Aluminized gloves provide reflective and insulating protection
- Kevlar gloves are cut- and abrasion-resistant
Power tools can save time and effort and are critical on a home building site. But, did you know tools need to be the right size to be safe?
Measure the length of your hand, from the fold of the wrist to the top of the middle finger. Take 20% of that number: that is your grip size. When purchasing tools, make sure the diameter of the tool is close to that size. Also, make sure the tool is longer than the widest part of your palm.
NAHB also has resources available to help to safely operate one of the largest offenders of hand injuries on the worksite: nail guns
Also, be sure to read OSHA’s guidance on the safe use of hand and power tools
For home builders, your hands are your most valuable tools and are easily injured. Taking basic precautions can prevent injuries and unnecessary days away from work.
For more information about safety topics, contact Rob Matuga