May 18, 2018 | Joe Geng |

Hand Injury Statistics

Two out of every five workplace hand injuries are from cuts or punctures

That’s according to 2015 finding released by the American Society of Safety Professionals based on a survey with 400 safety professionals including safety directors, safety specialists, and safety managers.

This comes at the same time as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hand injuries were the second most common injury, after lower back injuries.


Hand Injuries Are Too Common and Too Expensive:

Watch this explainer video to learn more…


Can’t Watch the Video? Read the Transcription Instead!

In a recent US Department of Labor study, of all injures reported, injuries to fingers and hands accounted for more than 23%, making them the highest in preventable injuries and in terms of lost work days, they ranked second only to back and neck injuries.

It was found that a vast majority of employees who suffer hand injuries were not wearing gloves at the time and that many of those injured were wearing the wrong kind of gloves.

Data from the Bureau of Labor statistics confirms the risk. As a result of non-compliance, hand injuries have increased more than 2.5 times.

Medical costs and disability claims have escalated rapidly and the cost of a single injury multiples with each work day missed.

A National Safety Council study reports that the cost of just one disabling hand or finger injury varies from $540 to $26,000 per patient. With a serious upward extremity trauma averaging $730,000 per incident.

According to a recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) study, 70.9% of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented with personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically safety gloves.

Each fact above illustrates clearly why education about cut protection is so important.

When it comes to choosing hand protection, the gulf between inadequate traditional materials and advanced scientific fibers is ultimately a battle between old perceptions and the right information.

This video series is intended to function as a reference guide for those searching for the right information.

hand injury statistics

Cuts and lacerations, on average, resulted in six lost working days for the injured worker.

The most common injuries in 2012, according to BLS research was sprains, strains and tears. This includes injuries to the wrist and hand ligament.

Approximately 8,000 of these injuries required job transfer or restriction in 2012. Healing time for these cases was on average 14 lost working days.


Key Hand Injury Statistics:

  • 110,000 lost-time hand injuries annually
  • Hand injuries send more than one million workers to the emergency room each year
  • 70 percent of workers who experienced hand injuries were not wearing gloves
  • The remaining 30 percent of injured workers did wear gloves, but the gloves were inadequate, damaged or the wrong type for the type of hazard present.

As we point on our PPE ROI Calculator, the average hand injury claim is now $6,000, with individual workers’ compensation claims reaching nearly $7,500. On average a U.S. automotive worker earns $33.00 an hour and the average reported hand injury results in six days off work.


The cost of one preventable incident far exceeds the cost of an entire hand protection program.


The National Safety Council Guide:

  • Direct cost of a laceration: $10,000
  • Stitches: $2,000 plus indirect
  • Butterfly: $300
  • Severed Tendon: > $70,000

We understand that while glove use is not the only way to protect against hand injuries, it is a crucial component of any injury prevention program.

Finding ways to help workers comply with glove wearing protocols will go a long way toward creating a safer and more productive work environment.


Ready to learn how to prevent costly hand injuries?

Read our post “How Quality Work Gloves Save You Money” now!


About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove