Know the Law When It Comes to Protecting Workers from Hand Injuries

Work injury formFailing to protect workers from serious injuries on the job is a violation of federal law. When it comes to workplace hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers protect their employees. If there is a recognized hazard and employers do not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard, they can be found in violation and subject to costly fines.



To prevent hand injuries in the workplace, OSHA’s hand protection standard mandates that employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to the following hazards:


  • skin absorption of harmful substances
  • severe cuts or lacerations
  • severe abrasions
  • punctures
  • chemical burns
  • thermal burns
  • harmful temperature extremes

OSHA also specifies that employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.

To help employers protect employees from the most severe and debilitating hand injuries, such as amputations, OSHA has enacted standards to prevent and manage hazards associated with the operation and care of machines. These safeguarding standards include:


  • Conduct a hazard analysis, which includes recognizing hazards and what types of mechanical components present amputation hazards
  • Safeguard any machine part, process of function that may cause injury using guards and/or safeguarding protection devices
  • Implement secondary safeguarding methods, such as probe detection and safety edge devices, awareness devices, and safe work procedures
  • Employee training
  • Regular mechanical inspection, maintenance and reporting


Although machinery is most commonly associated with the most severe hand injuries, OSHA suggests similar safety standards when operating powered and non-powered hand tools, material handling, forklifts, doors and covers (manholes), and trash compactors.


At Southern Glove, we know the importance of protecting workers and abiding by federal safety standards. Our award-winning finger, hand and arm protection is made to exacting standards and engineered for reliable protection. Each product is ruggedly constructed for dependable protection in a wide variety of industrial applications and extreme conditions.


Take steps to protect your employees today. Visit to see our full-selection of finger, hand and arm protection for every market.


Source: OSHA 1910.138(a)

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