If you work in one of our environments, you need to take care of your hands.
I think it’s easier said than done. We have a record of injuries to prove it.
We reach with our hands. It is automatic. We see something that needs moving or cleaning our impulse is to stick our hand in there and pluck it out. It is second nature.
We rest our hands. We shut the machine down to have someone adjust it or fix it. While we wait, we rest them on a machine or a chain.
We rely on our hands for fast, dexterous work. We grab material with our hands. We use power tools with our hands. We change blades, adjust bolts, stack woods, with our hands.
Our hands are exposed to pinch points and high impact areas. Our machines are guarded so that your hands can be protected.
Routine is the enemy of our hands. We do so many things over and over again; we begin to think we are better than we are. We reach behind guards. We take shortcuts while the machines run. We ignore logout and tag out and just stick our hands in harm’s way. Every once in a while, the risk we took results in an injury.
If you have not had a severe hand injury, keep up the good work. I hope it’s because you practice safe habits instead of being happy.
Take some time this week and visit with your teammates. Recall the kind of hand injuries you have seen. Remind yourself of the lessons those injuries can teach us.
Take care of your hands.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.