The huge growth in the industrial hand protection market over recent years has meant that there is now a somewhat confusing variety of gloves to chose from. However, advice is on hand from producer of safety products, UVEX
Over the last few years, employers and wearers of industrial hand protection have become increasingly aware of the need to avoid potential accidents and injuries – leading to a boom in the market and manufacturers offering a vast array of gloves to choose from.
Crucial to avoiding injury is the selection of the appropriate glove for any given task, and the hazards involved. This is illustrated by the 40,000 hand injuries reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) by employers in 2009/2010. This showed little decrease in 2010/2011, with just over 39,000 injuries, emphasising the vital need for protection.
The HSE recommends that safety gloves be selected according to the type of work, wearer compatibility and the environment in which the work takes place. It urges that the substances handled and all other hazards should be identified along with the type and duration of contact – whilst considerations should also be made for the hand size, wearer comfort and task suitability.
Making the right choice
Prior to the selection of the correct type of hand protection, there is a checklist that should first be taken into account:
- The factors the glove is protecting against – cuts, punctures, abrasion, tears, heat, sparks, biological and mechanical hazards and hand fatigue are commonly considered – but protection from impact, especially to the back of the hand, should not be overlooked.
- Dermatological issues – there can be individual risks of allergy or adverse reactions to some gloves leading to eczema or dermatitis, so the option of allergen-free gloves can be beneficial.
- The right glove for the application – what it involves, such as precision work, and the type, duration and frequency of contact, such as with grease or water.
- Different coatings according to the task and circumstances, such as foam coatings for oil grip, and repellent ones for wet environments. Therefore, it is of vital importance to maintain good grip and control, especially in greasy, oily, soapy or wet conditions, to avoid accident and injury.
- The required dexterity, mobility, durability, comfort and flexibility of the glove. Performance, as well as protection is essential.
- The cost in use over the entire life span of the glove. The employer needs to work out how many gloves are used per year. A ‘throwaway culture’ is encouraged by the provision of poor quality gloves that deteriorate quickly, and there is a huge difference between price and value. The more spent on better quality gloves at the outset, the more savings are made in the long term.
Benefits of the right glove
Using the right glove benefits both employer and employee. The employer profits from reduced costs and waste, increased efficiency and productivity, improved health and safety, increased acceptance of PPE, the need for lower stock levels and a reduced environmental footprint.
Employee personal safety is assured by a reduced risk of injuries and ill health, happier working life and confidence in their employer.
Through its glove surveys and the online chemical selection guide, UVEX offer advice on which glove to use for any given application. In addition, there is a range of benefits to using UZEX’s hand protection solutions. For example, the phynomic range for precision work is free from harmful solvents and allergenic substances, and offers perfect fit, optimum functionality and absolute purity. The cut 5 protection range of the UVEX C500 and cut 3 protection with the C300 gloves with intelligent yarns, manage excess heat and moisture at the same time as protecting the wearer.
There is no one size fits all in safety gloves as manufacturers continually advance and innovate with new high-performance materials and new products. Therefore, safety managers need to stay on top of the game in understanding the best glove for each individual task and in each individual situation and industry.
Use of the correct hand protection is a very effective way of preventing injury and must be taken seriously. The cost of an injury, a citation or a fine is much higher than the cost of providing the correct hand protection for employees.
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