Most people take their hands for granted. Workers in Arizona protect their heads with hard hats, eyes with safety goggles, ears with plugs and feet with safety boots, but they often forget to wear safety gloves. Every occupation poses some hand injury risk, ranging from bruises and minor cuts to amputations in a serious workplace accident.
Lacerations might be the most common hand injuries, and while treating most of them might be easy, deep cuts can damage tendons or nerves, which might cause long-term damage. Puncture wounds are narrower and often deeper than cuts. They can be caused by machinery or tools and sharp objects like tacks, knives, needles and nails. A crush injury occurs when the hand, arm or wrist catches between two hard surfaces such as a between a door and a wall or in the mechanisms of heavy equipment. When the pressure prevents the blood from reaching the muscles, damage could be permanent.
Fractures or broken bones in the hand or wrist can be caused by crushing injuries or trip-and-fall accidents and could take months to recover. However, avulsion fractures can cause permanent loss of function. It happens when a fracture causes a piece of bone to break off and stay attached to a ligament or muscle that is torn from the main bone. An example of an injury that could separate an entire hand or finger from the worker's body is when a ring gets hooked or caught by machinery.
When a workplace accident causes serious hand injuries, it could prevent workers from returning to work for extended periods, and they might need ongoing medical treatment and therapy. The related expenses and lost wages could become stressful if steps are not taken immediately to get a workers' compensation claim filed for benefits to cover those losses. An experienced Arizona workers' compensation attorney can assist with the complicated claims process.