Have you experienced a mishap involving a hammer before? Hammers should not be used lightly or without proper care, otherwise they can potentially lead to accidents. A hammer is a common tool to use during a wide range of DIY jobs. These can be done inside and outside the home, as well as in the workplace, depending on the type of work you do, of course.
Many of us are guilty of not handling hammers with proper attention, though. They are one of the most common DIY tools around, which is why many people handle them without thinking about the possible consequences if this is not done correctly. According to RoSPA, more accidents occur at home than in any other location, so it pays to be sensible and to take precautions against injuries occurring. Here, we will discover some of the more common injuries that could potentially happen involving a hammer.
Examples of injuries involving a hammer
There are numerous things that could happen, but thankfully most of the following can be prevented with good common sense and appropriate precautions. These are just some examples of potential injuries that might occur:
- Cuts and bruising to the hands, fingers, and thumbs
- Broken bones in the hands or fingers
- Puncture wounds, most likely from accidentally hammering a nail into the hand
- Head injuries if the head of the hammer flies off because it is in poor condition
- Repetitive strain injury if the person regularly uses a hammer at work
- Injuries to feet if the hammer is dropped
- Other bodily injuries caused if someone falls from height with a hammer
Clearly, it is very important to make sure you know how to use a hammer in the proper way, and to take basic care to avoid accidents involving a hammer. One body of research found 41% of people attending just two hospitals in Oxford received their injuries at home. A further 25% had been injured while taking part in leisure activities – and you could probably include DIY in those statistics. It is far more likely you would be hurt at home than elsewhere, so it makes sense to take basic precautions.
Where else could an accident involving a hammer occur?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was developed to reduce the chances of people being injured while doing their usual work. Thankfully, it has done just that. Now, employers must adhere to the Act and perform risk assessments for all jobs and tasks to be done. These risk assessments can help reduce the odds of people being hurt while doing all kinds of jobs, including those involving a hammer.
For example, wearing protective gloves might help prevent injuries caused by being hit with a hammer. Proper training will also ensure people know how to use a hammer so they do not injure themselves or anyone else nearby. And of course, basic safety checks prior to using a hammer only take a few seconds to complete, yet they can serve as a crucial method for preventing the use of a hammer that is unsafe to use.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident at work involving a hammer, make sure you get treatment for the injuries, before considering whether the accident occurred because of negligence. For example, was the hammer fit for purpose or not? Were you trained to do your job, or merely told to get on with it and work things out for yourself? These are points worth considering.
Repetitive strain injuries
While accidents involving a hammer can be acute in that they happen suddenly and involve an immediate injury such as a fracture or some heavy bruising, other injuries can develop over time. Repetitive strain injury – referred to simply as RSI in many cases – is a classic example of this. Anyone who uses the same tool time and again has the potential to develop RSI. Using a hammer without regular rest periods and while holding it in an awkward manner can mean you end up with RSI.
Knowing some basic first aid
It pays to have some knowledge of basic first aid because you never know when it might come in useful – whether that means treating yourself or someone else following an accident or injury. Sprains, strains, broken bones, and bleeding are just some of the things you should know how to treat if you are ever confronted with them. Yes, many of these incidents can happen at work, at home, or elsewhere, and many will require medical treatment, but it helps to know what to do on the spot. St John’s Ambulance provides some excellent first aid tips that could come in very useful.
Can you make a claim for your injuries?
This depends on whether there is evidence that negligence was to blame. If you were at fault, it is unlikely a claim could be made. However, if the accident happened at work, it could be it occurred through a lack of training, a lack of proper equipment, or poor tools provided that have never been replaced.
Similarly, if you were using tools that were not fit for purpose, this could potentially be due to poor design or substandard quality of an item intended to be used for a specific purpose. As you can see, it can be complex to work out whether a claim is possible, and this is why we would encourage you to call us if you want to know more about making a potential claim.
Accident Advice Helpline will consider any claim relating to an injury involving a hammer. Call now on 0800 689 0500, or ring 0333 500 0993 from your mobile phone. We can consider the facts of what happened to you, and provide no-obligation advice that will be very useful. If you are ready to find out more, call now or try the online test that only takes around 30 seconds to complete. We are always on hand to provide our expert advice when required.