If your job requires physical labor, medical care, or even typing on a computer, you rely on your hands to perform your job functions. This makes your hands vulnerable to injuries, which can either result from repetitive use or devastating accidents.
According to Gloves Mag, more than one million workers receive emergency care each year due to hand injuries, with over 70 percent of incidents involving workers who weren't wearing gloves. Workers who are most susceptible to hand injuries include manufacturers, loggers, welders, construction workers, industrial workers, farmers, and those who work in the medical field.
The most common work-related hand injuries
Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) cites data by the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina, which identifies the five most common work-related hand injuries. These include:
- Lacerations - 63 percent
- Crushes - 13 percent
- Avulsions and detachments - 8 percent
- Punctures - 6 percent
- Fractures - 5 percent
Hand injuries can also be caused by electrical burns, chemical exposure, frostbite, penetration, contusions, sprains, strains, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Recovering from a hand injury
Depending on the severity of your hand injury, you'll need to make a full recovery before returning to work.
If you have sustained carpal tunnel syndrome, you may experience tingling and weakness in your hand. Your doctor may require you to wear a splint and keep your wrist straight for an extended period.
Hand fractures, on the other hand, can be extremely painful and can cause swelling, deformity, and limited hand mobility. Treating a fracture may require surgery. During the healing process, you may have to wear a cast, or have the fracture held together by metal plates, pins, and/or screws. Restoring strength and mobility in your hand may require a lengthy period of physical therapy.
If you lost a finger or thumb in a work-related accident, you need prompt medical attention. It's crucial that you keep the detached finger with you and keep the injured area covered to prevent severe blood loss. Repairing a detached finger requires surgery. Additionally, you may need to take medication for pain and inflammation during the healing process.
Why you should file a workers' compensation claim
A hand injury can leave you out of work for months. Moreover, the cost of medical treatment can be overwhelming. That's why it's critical that you file a workers' compensation claim as soon as possible in order to cover the cost of your medical treatment and lost wages.
Getting these benefits isn't easy. In order to make sure the process goes smoothly, you will need an experienced attorney on your side advocating for you. Contact O'Malley & Langan Law Offices today to get started.