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Hand and finger injuries

Given that the previous four events in this Safety Flash are all hand injuries, some of them quite serious, even shocking hand injuries, we pause to reflect for a moment, and to summarise some trends in hand and finger injuries amongst our members in recent times. Hand and finger injuries comprise almost a fifth of the incidents and events submitted by IMCA members just in the last year.

If we look more closely at the most recent ten incidents involving injuries to hands and fingers, some worthwhile conclusions may be drawn from what our members identified as having gone wrong.

Contributory factor  
Poor or incorrect PPE6/10
Equipment in use was not adequate5/10
Lack of awareness of risk or inadequate risk assessment5/10
Poor spatial awareness – fingers were in the wrong place at the wrong time4/10
Lack of supervision4/10
Lack of communication or poor communication3/10
Procedures were not followed, corners were cut2/10
Someone could have stopped the job – but didn’t.2/10
Someone stepped in and helped with a task when they should have stood back2/10

Additional causal factors included:

  • Poor weather/environment or a noisy and stressful environment;
  • A focus on getting job done quickly rather than doing it safely;
  • Lack of experience or lack of training,

Please be reminded of IMCA safety promotional materials at including:

The ten incidents were:

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.