In its efforts to foster occupational health and safety (OHS) in Canadian industries, the Ministry of Labour provides annual statistical information with preliminary analyses to stakeholder groups which includes but not limited to employers under federal jurisdiction, the academic and research sectors, health and safety organizations, workers’ compensation boards and the general public.
From their latest statistics covering the period of 2007-2011, 28% of work injuries were to the hand with injuries to the lower back coming in as a close second. Among the types of hand injuries, the most frequent was a sprain or strain. Below is a table from the Workplace Safety Insurance Board of Ontario indicating the number of incidences for the other types of hand injuries:
As illustrated here, fractures made up about 19% of injuries and these happened primarily to industry workers. For the past 10 years, sprains and strains have consistently gotten the highest number of incidence in the workplace and even represented 40% of all lost time claims.
Being aware of the number of hand injuries in the workplace does not only help in fostering a safer workplace, but also an important tool in minimizing accidents, fatalities and financial losses to the company. A thorough understanding of the conditions surrounding occupational injuries will ensure the effectivity of occupational safety programs.
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