July 2022
Volume 74    Issue 7

The necessity for improved hand and finger protection in mining

Heberger, John R.; Nasarwanji, Mahiyar F.; Pollard, Jonisha P.; Kocher, Lydia M.


nt in the mining industry, and identifying factors associated with these injuries is critical for developing prevention efforts. This study identifies nonfatal injury incidence rates, nature of injury, work activities, glove usage, and sources of hand and finger injuries in the U.S. mining industry, as reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) from 2011 to 2017. Hand and finger injuries occur at a rate of 6.53 per 1,000 full-time employees, which is nearly double the rate of the next highest affected body part, the back. Most of the hand and finger injuries were classified as cuts/lacerations/punctures (53 percent) followed by bone fractures/chips (26 percent). Materials handling and maintenance/repair were common activities at the time of the incident with miscellaneous metals — such as pipe, wire and guarding — and hand tools as the primary sources of hand and finger injury. Although the information on glove use was limited, leather gloves were most often worn when an injury occurred. When gloves were identified in the injury narrative, gloves contributed to 20 percent of the injuries, indicating their potential to protect the hands but also potentially putting the hands at risk. Further research is necessary to determine performance requirements for gloves used in mining operations, specifically those offering cut and puncture resistance.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:507–520, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-022-00557-5


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