Workplace hand injuries can be painful and debilitating.
Some of the most common work injuries involve the hand and wrist. From construction to food service, retail to healthcare: The risk is present in almost every industry. Nationwide, more than 10 percent of work injuries reported in 2020 involved damage to an employee's hand or wrist.
Whether the injury is due to a work accident or it took years to develop, hand and wrist injuries must be taken seriously for an employee to avoid additional damage that could further reduce the use of their hands, wrists, thumbs, or fingers.
Even a "small" amount of damage could lead to devastating life changes. For example, hand and wrist injuries can interfere with working, driving, doing everyday tasks, and enjoying life.
Retired Workers' Compensation judge and O'Malley & Langan attorney Joseph Grady has extensive knowledge of how work injuries affect individuals and their families. During his more than 30 years on the bench, he saw thousands of complex Workers' Comp cases.
"If an employee doesn't receive the benefits or work injury compensation they deserve, the damage can be physically and financially devastating," says attorney Grady, noting the high cost of medical treatment.
Injured Pennsylvania workers have a right to compensation.
Employees who suffer from work-related hand injuries should seek urgent medical attention first. Then, as soon as possible, consult one of our experienced Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation lawyers to protect their right to collect injury-related medical expenses and lost wages.
O'Malley & Langan Law Offices is a leading Northeastern Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation law firm with a reputation for getting employees the benefits they deserve.
"We know that hard work wins cases," says attorney Mary Anne O. Lucas. "Injured workers can trust us to investigate their work injury or illness thoroughly. We get to the bottom of what is happening - even if employers and insurance companies don't want us to."
Common types of employee hand injuries
Hands and wrists are a delicate array of tiny bones held together by slim muscles, tendons, and nerves. Losing even a fraction of a finger can dramatically upend a person's life, making it difficult to pick up or hold things, carry items, and lift objects. There are many common types of workplace hand injuries:
- Burns. Hand injuries that involve first-, second-, or third-degree burns are often caused by exposure to dangerous work conditions and materials like acid, chemicals, cold, fire, steam, hot fluids, fumes, vapors, welding, radiation, electricity, or friction, among other things.
- Cuts, lacerations, and open- or puncture wounds. There’s no shortage of items that can pierce or cut a hand at work. It's counterintuitive, but tools made to be held in your hand frequently injure workers. In Pennsylvania, wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, drills, saws, and other hand-helds cause about 8 percent of all compensable Workers' Comp claims in the state.
- Amputation and crushing. If a worker's hand is caught between machinery or a hand-held object, or is struck by moving equipment, it may get crushed or severed. Conveyer belts, in particular, can be dangerous. Workers reported more than 6,000 crushed hand or wrist injuries in 2020.
- Fracture. There are a lot of small bones in your hand and wrist. One of the most likely to be fractured at work is the bony bump on the inside of your wrist - the scaphoid. Hand and wrist bone fractures at work are usually due to slips and falls.
- Strains, sprains, and tears. Unnatural hand positions and movements can cause nerve damage in wrists and hands. Employees who use their hands for twisting, holding or carrying, lifting, pushing or pulling, reaching, using tools or machinery, welding, throwing, and repetitive motion like regular use of power tools or computers are at risk for painful injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Receiving Workers' Comp for a hand injury
Injured employees are frequently eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits, but they often have to fight to get results. If you’ve been injured at work, O'Malley & Langan can help you navigate the Workers' Compensation system while you focus on healing.
"Injured workers expect to be treated fairly after a work accident, but that's not always what happens," says O'Malley & Langan Founder and Senior Partner Todd J. O'Malley. "That's not right. Our law firm is dedicated to helping them get the benefits they need and deserve."
If you were hurt at work and need help, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.