¿The tools of the tools?... Yes! is the Hand!
Accidents involving the hands are one of the main industrial hazards. Its prevention involves knowing the risk and its consequences, as well as the elements and equipment with which one works.
In all jobs and industries, one of the main tools we use is our hands. With them, we feel, feel, we can create, know and transform, and therefore, they have an immeasurable value. As a result, they are the part of our body most at risk of injury which, following simple recommendations, can be avoided.
The most frequent accidents affecting the hands are entrapment, entrapment, repetitive motions and contact. In fact, they account for one-third of all occupational accidents in our country. Therefore, measures must be taken when working to protect them and avoid cuts, dermatitis, amputations, burns, among other injuries.
Many types of injuries can result from trauma to the hand, from simple trauma that can heal in the first 24 hours to amputations due to the use of heavy machinery. It is always important that the worker who handles these types of tools knows the consequences of inappropriate use.
Types of Hand Injuries on the Job
- Traumatic Injury: Occurs as a result of careless use of machinery or tools. Hands and fingers are trapped, pinched or crushed on chains, wheels, rollers or gears.
- Contact injuries: These occur from contact with solvents, acids, cleaning solutions, flammable liquids, mechanical forces such as pressure, friction and vibration, environmental factors such as heat, cold, wind, radiation and overexposure to the sun, which can cause burns or damage to tissues.
- Repetitive motion injuries: Occur when tasks require repeated, rapid hand movements for long periods of time. Manufacturing or assembly work can cause such injuries.
A work-related accident
Yerson is a 45-year-old worker who works as a blacksmith in a factory in our city: Maracay.
Of course, their work includes daily contact with very careful materials such as saws, welding, high voltage electricity, etc.
Unfortunately, due to inadequate supervision by many of the workers, they are not adequately protected and are therefore always prone to an accident that is very easy to prevent.
One afternoon in early August, at the end of a laborious day, Yerson neglects for a moment as he makes a metal cut with a high speed saw, taking part of his left hand in a surprising way.
To the O.R.!
He was brought almost immediately to our work center in the Central Hospital of Maracay where, after a quick check of his hand, we noticed a lot of bleeding that did not stop, so we suspected an arterial injury.
He gave us almost no time at all, just to admit him to the hospital and take his data while we took him to the operating room, once there we met the anesthesiologist who calmed him down with a few words and gave him enough analgesia and anesthesia in his hand.
The first thing we did was to take an X-ray in the same operating room to determine if there were fractures associated with the wound, we actually found a very complex fracture of the first metacarpal of the hand (which corresponds to the root of the thumb).
Before starting a repair we cleaned the wound with abundant physiological solution (the one used as serum) and for the relief of all there was no injury to any major artery.
The wound was almost circumferential, surrounding the hand from the palm to the dorsal area, many tendons were injured, so the repair took hours of hard work.
Finally, it was necessary to stabilize the fracture by means of an "External Fixation" device, adjusted so that the complex fracture would not move even further. It is very showy and uncomfortable to use, but since it is an exposed wound and a lot of contamination, traditional devices cannot be applied.
We are waiting again for Yerson, his recovery has been satisfactory and he will probably recover to his fullest potential after a long and adequate rehabilitation. He's not working right now, but he's grateful he didn't lose his hand completely in an accident that could easily have been prevented.
How should we prevent occupational accidents?
- If the work consists of repetitive actions, pauses with stretching exercises are recommended. With your arms outstretched, press one palm on top of the other, bringing your hand back, and then press your hand towards your body. Another exercise is to open the palm of the hand by extending all the fingers, and then grasp.
- Although it may be uncomfortable, wear personal protective and other ergonomic items, such as gloves for operators and a mouse pad with a pad to support your wrist when writing on a computer.
- In an industry, stopping a machine before correcting a process, repairing or cleaning.
- Do not wear rings, bracelets or watches when working with a machine, as they can cause entrapment, injury or mutilation.
- Wear suitable gloves for operational tasks. There are specific gloves for contact with chemicals, high or low temperatures, handling sharp objects and electrical voltage.
- Check that the personal protective equipment is in good condition and renew in the event of damage.
- Strictly comply with company security protocols.
“The hand is the tool of tools”
If you need recommendations or help in orthopedic surgery and traumatology do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr. Leopoldo Maizo
Orthopedic Surgeon and Traumatologist.
Firma diseñada por @themonkeyzuelans, contáctalos vía Discord "themonkeyzuelans#9087"