Wrist Injuries Are Common Among Workers

December 9, 2020
By Glauber Berenson Vego

Did you know that work-related wrist injuries account for 3.6% of all workplace injuries? They happen to around 3.8 full-time workers out of every 100,000. These injuries are painful and may require rest or physical therapy. In some acute cases, they might even require surgery.

On average, workers miss around two weeks of work because of wrist injuries. Hand injuries, which can be related to wrist injuries, usually lead to an average of five days off work, but they happen more often with 13 injuries to full-time workers per 100,000.

What are common kinds of wrist injuries on the job?

In around .5% of cases, wrist injuries at work are amputations. The majority of cases other than these are related to musculoskeletal disorders or repetitive-stress injuries. Generally speaking, wrist injuries are brought on by repetitive, forceful use of the hands. Injuries to the wrists are worsened when there are poor ergonomics or when there is regular cold or vibration.

How can workers prevent wrist injuries on the job?

In terms of amputations, having machinery that requires two hands to turn it on is one excellent step that some employers have used to reduce the likelihood of amputations. It’s also smart not to wear rings or bracelets that could get caught in machinery and pull the fingers, hand or wrist inside.

For repetitive-stress injuries, regular breaks, as well as ergonomic supports, should be in place. Good ergonomics can significantly reduce the likelihood of injuries of many kinds, and they can help people who are recovering avoid reactivating an injury as well.

Will workers’ compensation cover on-the-job wrist injuries?

Workers’ compensation should cover injuries that happen at work or that are exacerbated by the working conditions. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work space to their employees, and they should also be carrying workers’ compensation (in most cases), so that workers can get medical attention and have financial coverage if they suffer an injury on the job.

If you’re hurt, you may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim and seek that support as you get medical care and take necessary time off work.