Workers employed in different industries are exposed to different risks affecting their hands. One hazard or mistake can lead to a limiting range of motion or a lifetime of pain. These workplace hazards causing hand-related injuries result in companies losing more time and money than other work hazards. Hence, managers must choose the right safety gloves and protect the hands of their workers during work.
You get different varieties of gloves, but not all are created equal. But with the following tips, you can make the right choices.
1. Analyse the risks
Each worksite is different; hence, safety personnel and managers should assess potential risks in the work environment first.
The employers must conduct a safety evaluation of the worksite to choose the appropriate gloves for the workers. Moreover, they can consult safety experts if they cannot understand the risk levels.
While evaluating the risks, employers must install all the required safety measures to limit the workers’ exposure to dangerous equipment or sharp objects. Once the inherent risks are identified, they should make efforts to reduce threats by changing operations.
2. Select the right material
You can get safety gloves in a wide range of materials suited for various applications.
- Gloves made from polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl alcohol and items like Viton protect against specific industrial hazards and harmful gases.
- Disposable gloves made of nitrile or latex rubber are inexpensive but offer protection against the spread of infectious diseases and incidental contact. However, they don’t provide adequate protection against abrasions, cuts and industrial chemicals.
- Cryogenic-resistant gloves are the best choice to protect against extreme temperatures or prevent frostbite.
- Kevlar gloves can be an excellent choice to prevent cuts while handling tools or sharp objects.
Workers should also have high-visibility gloves while working outdoors at night or in poor visibility. These gloves come in neon colours and have reflective patches offering good visibility.
Employers must also look for gloves with a strong grip pattern so workers can use tools and grasp objects without losing control while working in wet conditions.
Some gloves are also specially designed for work in certain industries, like maintenance crews, landscaping professionals and utility workers.
In various work environments, workers may need protection against more than one hazard. So, employers need to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that the gloves withstand multiple threats without risking the workers’ lives.
3. Pick the right size
Form-fitted gloves are the best choice to protect workers from industrial chemicals and sharp objects as they match the shape and size of a person’s hand. Employers should provide a range of gloves in different fits and sizes on-site to ensure the workers find the right fit before heading for their shift.
Some gloves also lose shape over time. So, every worker should take the time to check whether the gloves fit the worker correctly. Furthermore, in addition to gloves, they may need to wear PPE to limit exposure to the skin.
In addition to buying gloves, one should also be mindful about storing them. You should keep your gloves in a dry place to protect them from everyday wear and tear and increase their durability. Also, managers and workers must make it a habit to inspect gloves after every shift for potential issues like tears, cuts or other openings. Furthermore, stiffness and discolouration can be crucial warning signs that show that the ability of the gloves to shield the worker from hazardous objects has reduced.