The huge growth in the market for industrial hand protection seen in the last few years, driven by increasing awareness by employers and wearers of the need to avoid potential accidents and injuries, has led to glove manufacturers offering a large, and sometimes confusing, variety of innovative gloves for wearers to choose from.
Selection of the appropriate glove for each specific task, and the hazards involved, is critical to avoid the risk of injury. This is illustrated by the 40,000 hand injuries reported to the HSE by employers in 2009/2010, 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.
Choosing the right glove
Before the selection of the correct hand protection is made, the following checklist should 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.
The employee personal safety is assured by a reduced risk of injuries and ill-health, happier working life and confidence in their employer.
The benefits of uvex hand protection
uvex provides hand protection solutions to suit all budgets. The company is willing to be tested against all its competitors on every level and for every protective criterion, including grip, dexterity, allergy, cut protection and wearer comfort. Uvex offers expert advice on which glove to use for the application through its glove surveys and the online chemical selection guide on which glove to use.
Individual uvex products offer an abundance of benefits. 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, with excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions. The cut 5 protection range of the uvex C500 with intelligent yarns, manage excess heat and moisture at the same time as protecting the wearer with exceptional dexterity.
The uvex phynomic and C500 ranges are made in Germany within a fully sustainable factory location, giving environmental peace of mind environmentally conscious organisations.
There is no one-size-fits-all in safety gloves and as reputable manufacturers continually advance and innovate with new high-performance materials and new products. 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.
The uvex group
The uvex group brings together three globally active companies under one roof: the uvex safety group, the uvex sports group (with uvex sports and Alpina Sports), and Filtral. The uvex group is represented in 22 countries by 48 subsidiaries but chooses to do most of its manufacturing in Germany. Two thirds of the company’s 2.300-strong workforce (as at 31 July, 2015) is employed in Germany. uvex is a global partner to international elite sport and equips a host of top athletes. The motto protecting people is at the heart of the company’s activities. uvex develops, manufactures and distributes products and services for the safety and protection of people at work, in sport and for leisure pursuits.
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