Regardless of the industry you work in, your hands are your most useful tool. You use them for just about everything, and as a result they constantly come into contact with a wide range of objects and materials within your workplace.
Some of these objects and materials introduce potential hazards to hands and arms of those interacting with them.
Imagine for a moment that you suffered a hand injury that negatively impacted your grip strength, dexterity, or ability to use any number of the tools and equipment you need to do your job.
That’s a grim thought, isn’t it?
Not to mention that such an injury would do more than impact your ability to deliver at work. It would impact nearly every element of your day-to-day life.
Sadly, hand injuries are the second most common form of workplace injury, not that far behind back injuries.
That’s why it’s critical to consider hand and arm protection and ensure that you have the appropriate personal protective equipment.
What are common hand injuries?
Depending on the specifics of your role and where you work, you’ll be exposed to different hazards. Some of the most common are as follows:
Machinery – Working with machinery and moving parts could see your hands and fingers caught within, resulting in them being caught or crushed. Such an incident would no doubt result in bruising, if not a fracture, a broken bone, or outright amputation.
Tools and Materials – When working with tools and materials like metal, glass, stone, cabling, and more you’re exposing yourself to several common hand injuries. The resulting abrasions, cuts, punctures, and even the vibration or impact from tools and equipment can damage your hands.
Chemicals – Chemical hazards are varied, as are their effects on the body. If you handle chemicals, and are not wearing gloves (or the wrong type of glove) you run the risk of chemical burns or even your body absorbing biological and chemical hazards.
Our hand protection range helps to protect your staff from these injuries and more. Though, protecting your staff isn’t enough, they need to be prepared to deal with injuries too. Browse our medical supplies range and ensure your team is covered.
What types of hand protection are there?
Every discussion surrounding hand protection and safety revolves around gloves.
That much is simple.
It’s selecting the right glove for the job that makes things more complicated.
Safety gloves are available in a wide variety of materials and for a variety of purposes.
Chemical Resistant Gloves
Chemical resistant gloves are designed to mitigate the risks posed by harmful substances, such as corrosive materials and chemical or biological hazards. When selecting such gloves, it’s important to understand that every material offers a different level of protection based on the specific chemicals you’ll be interacting with. Chemical resistance is not the same thing as chemical-proof, and in many cases these gloves are only safe for limited use before needing to be replaced.
Cut Resistant Gloves
If you work with sharps, blades, and metal or glass edges, then cut resistant gloves might be a good fit for you.
Needle Resistant Gloves
Naturally, these gloves are specially designed to enable the wearer to pickup and work with needles without putting themselves at risk of punctures. When working with used needles, such a puncture can pose a serious health risk, and the added safety of purposefully needle resistant gloves becomes worthwhile.
Leather gloves can be a good all purpose glove choice. These gloves offer some protection from cuts, abrasions, temperature, all while allowing the wearer a fair degree of dexterity and comfort.
Mechanics may use several kinds of gloves depending on what tasks they are undertaking. Some mechanics gloves will leave one or more fingers exposed so that the mechanic can have a greater degree of dexterity and sensitivity for working with and finding small parts. It’s also not uncommon for some of these gloves to have a magnetic component for holding onto nuts, bolts, and bits or attachments they may be using.
Welding Gloves are designed to be incredibly resistant to heat, flames, and electric shocks while also protecting the wearer from ultraviolet and infrared radiation. These gloves can be quite thick, due to their often being multiple layers. So, based on the type of welding the wearer performs, the appropriate thickness and material may vary.
Disposable gloves are best for one time use. They are typically very thin and provide the wearer with a high degree of sensitivity and dexterity when compared to other gloves. Although, this thinness makes them far more prone to cuts and punctures, as well as a lower degree of chemical resistance when compared to gloves designed for those purposes.
Synthetic Dipped Gloves
These kinds of gloves are often made of some kind of breathable knitted fabric, but has the fingers and palm dipped in a synthetic material that assists with grip, provides some level of temperature protection, and protects from small cuts and abrasions. Synthetic dipped gloves are widespread and versatile, finding use in essentially every industry.
What types of hand protection do I need?
The best place to start when selecting your gloves is to carefully consider your work activities to determine the degree of dexterity required and take that into account when selecting your gloves.
Next, consider the risks and hazards your hands are at risk of. Whether that be cuts, burns, or anything else.
Do some research, or speak to one of our experts, about what those risks entail so you can identify the level of protection you’ll need where appropriate.
Taking the above into account, you should be better equipped to identifying which PPE you need.