Employers in Illinois are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. This includes the prevention of hand injuries. Along with providing protective gloves, safeguards on equipment with moving parts are crucial. The fact that workers use their hands for almost every job they do underscores the need for effective safety protocols. It is the task of each employer to assess potential workplace hazards to prevent work injury.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a significant number of hand injuries cause lost workdays. Whether the work injury involves a minor laceration or a finger amputation, it will affect a worker's ability to do his or her job. Hand protection is necessary to prevent abrasions, cuts, lacerations and puncture wounds. Exposure to dangerous substances can cause chemical burns, contact with hot surfaces can cause other burn injuries.
The hand protection provided must be based on the job to be performed and should be adequate to protect against associated dangers. Additional hand injury hazards are posed by power and hand tools such as circular saws and many other pieces of equipment in various industries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards related to safeguarding of equipment, and violations can have severe consequences for both workers and employers. Employers are also responsible for providing adequate safety training that will teach workers about all the potential injury risks along with the precautions they can take to avoid injuries.
Any victim of a work injury in Illinois will likely be eligible for workers' compensation benefits to cover lost wages and medical expenses. An experienced attorney can help with the claims process, and skilled legal counsel can be particularly valuable if injuries led to disabilities, such as an amputated hand or finger. Workers who suffered permanent disabilities might be entitled to additional benefits under Illinois workers' compensation laws.