Previous studies have shown that young men have the highest frequency of occupational hand injuries. This study investigated their incidence and severity in relation to age and sex. For occupational hand injuries in general the estimated incidence rate was 17.1 per 1,000 person years. The incidence was found to be higher among men than women in all age groups below 60 years. The incidence for minor injuries declines with increasing age, but the rates for significant injuries are independent of age. The higher incidence rate for minor injuries among young patients could be real, but it could also be partly due to selection bias, if older patients with minor injuries consult the hospital for treatment less frequently.