Ideally, employers in New York and around the country will take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the risk of employee hand injuries. Doing so may improve employee morale while reducing turnover within the organization. In addition to steps that your employer may take to keep you safe, there are actions that you can take to reduce your chances of getting hurt on the job.

Make yourself aware of safety hazards

The first step in minimizing the risk of injuries on the job is to stay cognizant of the dangers that you may face. These dangers may include constant bending or lifting during a shift or being asked to perform tasks without the tools needed to complete them safely. A company might minimize these and other hazards by upgrading existing equipment or by changing how a given task is performed.

Make sure to wear gloves

Research has found that 70% of employees who experienced hand injuries weren’t wearing gloves at the time that they were hurt. In most cases, workers refuse to wear gloves because they are heavy, make their hands sweaty or make it harder to grip objects. However, gloves that are made from ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) can provide significant protection against cuts without being heavy or bulky.

Take training classes seriously

Losing a finger or hand could make it difficult to perform simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt or opening a jar. Therefore, it is important to learn as much as possible during any training courses that your company offers. If you have any questions or concerns during or after such a class, be sure to communicate them to your supervisor. Doing so can help to foster a dialogue that might help you and your colleagues avoid unnecessary injuries.

If you are hurt at work for any reason, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It might be advisable to have an attorney’s assistance when you are preparing your claim and in appealing an adverse decision.