We analysed 6549 hand injuries treated between 1992 and 2005 at a specialist hospital in Turkey to identify risk factors for amputations. There were 2899 (44%) hand amputations. Left-side injuries were more prone to amputation. The risk of amputation was higher in men, workers and those in the 15-24 and 45-54 year-old age groups. Compared to home, commercial areas were the places with highest risk, followed by farms and industrial/construction areas. The majority of amputations occurred in industrial/construction areas (87%). Among objects/substances producing injury, watercraft led to the highest risk of amputation and contact with machinery was the mechanism with highest risk. Press machines were the most frequent objects causing amputation both in men and women, followed almost equally by powered wood cutters in men. Doors were the most frequent objects of amputation in children, followed by powered wood cutters. Education, enforcement, and improved engineering are the keys to prevent amputations. Precluding illegal child labour is essential.