Hand related injuries account for 80% of occupational injuries. Hands are engaged in many job activities and are subject to cuts, bruises, punctures, thermal burns, and various degrees of chemical irritation. Handling chemicals, sharp or hot objects, rough materials, and such without appropriate protection for hands is enticing an accident.
Wearing appropriate work gloves is a necessary precaution.
Unfortunately, there is never one particular glove that protects from all the different hazards. Using the wrong glove will not provide the right protection and can create more hazards. Evaluating options for different hazards is important for proper coverage, and in some instances, the realization of no glove needs.
Gloves can create a greater hazard when:
- Hands are near spinning or rotating parts. Gloves are, essentially, an item of “loose clothing” that can be caught and pulled into machinery, trapping the worker and causing a far more serious injury.
- Exposure to chemicals. Although a chemical-resistant glove can help to protect against contaminants, always be careful not to wear ordinary work gloves in the presence of chemicals. The gloves can trap contaminants against workers’ skin.
In selecting the appropriate type of glove, in addition to identifying actual or potential hand hazards, also think about things like:
- How much manual dexterity required?
- Do they fit? (because a glove that does not fit may create new hazards)
There are numerous types of gloves designed to protect hands, in the most basic terms:
- Metal mesh and cut-resistant gloves resist sharp edges and prevent cuts
- For sharp edges and prevention of cuts wear cut-resistant and metal mesh gloves
- For handling rough services wear leather gloves
- Vinyl, neoprene and nitrile gloves protect hands against specific chemicals
When selecting a pair of protective gloves:
- Remember that certain gloves are chemical-specific with a life expectancy. Dispose of them after
- Certain gloves are specific to certain chemicals with a shelf life. Please dispose of them after recommended expiration time.
- Wash hands before and after wearing gloves.
- Inspect gloves before use.
- Replace gloves that are worn or torn.
Before working, THINK, protect hands at ALL times!