Safety Alert 85 - Hand Injuries

27 July 2020

Between the 13th and 15th of July, three EGT Apprentices injured their hands on three different sites. Two sustained lacerations that required medical treatment including stitches and the third apprentice required emergency surgery when he slipped on a wet Colorbond roof and caught his hand in the valley of the roof (steel sheet). The Apprentice sliced through the web-space area of his left hand and severed an artery, narrowly missing tendons.


Root Cause
All three EGT Apprentices were not wearing their protective gloves. 
The EGT ‘Apprentice Uniform & PPE Policy’ states that protective gloves are to be worn at all times unless a risk assessment has been conducted and it is deemed safe to remove them (e.g. for a precision termination).  

Contributing Factors
- Complacency was definitely a contributing factor in all three incidents - the task had been completed before without protective gloves “IT’S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE OR TO ME”.
- Inadequate assessment of risk – Apprentices not considering the potential hazards associated with tasks and other factors that can’t be controlled (i.e. inclement weather).

- Complete an RAC (Risk Assessment Checklist) for all job activities and apply controls including PPE requirements.
- Wear your EGT issued protective gloves (cut resistant gloves) or the gloves supplied by your host employer.  
- Always stay alert and focused on keeping yourself and others safe – don’t cut corners or rush the job to finish.

Hand Protection Reminder
Gloves are an effective way to protect your hands and wrists from cuts, abrasions, burns and irritants – ensure that you replace your protective gloves periodically to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose and use. 
If you require replacement gloves, contact your Field Officer or the Uniform Shop at the EGT Office. 
All Apprentices MUST wear their protective gloves and failure to do so, may result in disciplinary action.

For further information regarding this Safety Alert, please contact EGT on (08) 6241 6100.