Everyone who has used hammer most likely knows the pain of having hit his hand with a hammer. As painful as these accidents are, you likely went back to work, finishing whatever project your working on. Injuries with hand tools are a given, but when the tool you are using is a saw, or a nail gun, or one of the other more dangerous tools, such as those used in the construction injury, than the injuries may be much worse than a sore thumb. According to one survey injuries from hand tools result in approximately 400,000 accidents every year.
Forbes.com continued this survey by outlining the tools that lead to the most E.R. per year. Nail guns were the most dangerous by this standard, accounting for 37,000 E.R. visits per year. This number is likely to increase as more and more people use nail guns for framing and roofing. Following closely in second place are chainsaws, which result in 36,000 E.R. cases annually. Not unexpectedly, table saws take third place, which accounted for 29,000 E.R. visits per year.
Though these victims needed medical care, the cost to the employer goes beyond just workmen’s comp. Due to factors such as higher insurance costs, loss of productivity, as well as other factors, the average cost for a single lost-time accident is over 20,00 dollars.
This cost could easily be mitigated with the proper emphasis placed on workplace safety. Workers should be trained on how to handle every safety tool before being allowed to use them. It is important that the tools are routinely inspected and that all safety devices are equipped with the machine and are functioning properly. These safety devices should never be removed, nor should the tool be modified to operate without the device in place. Lastly, workers should wear the appropriate safety gear, especially safety glasses and hard hats, whenever using any hand tools on the job.
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