It’s a human instinct to put your hands out to break a fall and since we use our hands for nearly every task, hand and wrist injuries are very common in the workplace. Your hand and wrist contain very small and fragile bones, allowing for dexterity but also making them very vulnerable to injury. Any damage to the tissues, bones, or cartilage can result in pain, limited movement, time off work, and high medical bills. If you work in the construction, landscape, farming, or factory industries you are the most at risk for hand, wrist, and amputation industries. However, even office workers who spend several hours per day typing at the computer can be susceptible to wrist injuries. No matter your profession, it’s important to know your rights if you should ever suffer a hand or wrist injury while on-the-job.
Common Causes of Work-Related Hand & Wrist Injuries
There are a wide variety of different work-related causes of hand and wrist injuries.These include:
- Jobs the require rotation of the wrist, such as professions that frequently use power tools
- Sudden falls, trips, and slips from great heights
- Typing on a keyboard
- Any work duty that requires heavy lifting
- Repetitive motions
- Crush injuries, such as a door being closed on the fingers or wrist
- Objects falling directly onto the hand or wrist
- Jobs that require sharp tools, which may cause abrasions and cuts to the ligaments, tendons, or bones of the hand or wrist
Types of Hand & Wrist Injuries
The most common work-related hand or wrist injuries include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This injury is a repetitive stress injury in which your hand is repeatedly flexed while performing the same task over and over again. The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is typing at a keyboard, but other professions, such as jobs that require the use of heavy power tools and assembly line work, can also be a cause. This problem develops over a period of time, so it may be hard to recognize. However, symptoms include:
- Aching in the wrist
- Tingling or numbness
- Pain which extends from your wrist to your shoulder
- Amputations: Factory workers, construction workers, and agricultural workers are the most at risk of traumatic hand or finger amputations. These types of injuries can be devastating and significantly impact your life. Amputations occur when a part of your body is completely cut off in an accident, but can also occur after a crushing accident that causes surgeons to have to remove the finger or hand during surgery. Amputations lead to physical challenges and psychological trauma, which can include hefty medical bills and further problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Fractures: Since your hand and wrist are comprised of several small bones, they are very vulnerable to damage. Falls, twisting injuries, and car accidents are common causes of fractures, which can range from mild to severe. Compound factures, in which the bone pierces the skin, displaced fractures, in which the bones snap and become misaligned, and comminuted fractures, in which the bone is broken into several pieces, are all common types of hand and wrist fractures. These injuries can take several months to heal and even after surgeries and treatments, you may still have limitations and residual pain.
Other hand and wrist injuries include:
- Crush injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Trigger finger
Contact a Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
The lawyers at Powers & Caccavale are experienced in dealing with mild to severe hand, wrist, and amputation injuries. If your workers’ compensation benefits have been denied or disputed, or if you have no idea where to start with your claim, contact one of our trusted lawyers to help fight for your rights and achieve the best outcome possible.