Put On The Gloves
Many workers suffer injuries to hands, fingers, and arms simply because they do not protect themselves when working with hazardous chemicals, materials, or equipment. Accidents like these are preventable, and prevention cuts down on lost time and workers compensation claims.
More than 12 percent of the occupational injuries for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors resulting in a day or more of lost time are from hand or finger injuries.¹ Many are the result of cuts and punctures from handling equipment enclosures or sheet metal with sharp or pointed ends and edges.
However, as simple as it is to slip on a pair of gloves, that’s not an end all to hand and arm protection. Ultimately, eliminating the hazard should be the first line of defense for employee safety. When that’s not possible or practical, protecting workers from potential injury should be Number One on your list of safety practices.
- Assess the work place. Check for hazards that are present or likely to be present. Determine if they require special protective equipment.
- Select equipment or clothing (gloves or guards) designed to protect against the type of exposure present. Government regulations outlining the use, selection, and maintenance of personal protective equipment can help determine this.
- Be sure gloves and other protective equipment fit properly.
- Learn the equipment’s limitations and its proper use.
- Properly dispose of contaminated equipment or clothing following regulations.
If the Glove Fits
When it comes to hand protection, one size doesn’t fit all. You wouldn’t use a golf glove to play baseball, so wearing a general purpose glove to protect from chemical exposure doesn’t make sense either. Be sure you’re using and providing the right gloves for the job at hand:
- Chemical resistant gloves for chemical exposures
- General purpose gloves for cut, abrasion, and puncture protection, but not for protection from chemicals or liquids
- Product protection/clean room gloves to create a barrier between hands and product
- Special purpose gloves for extreme temperatures.
Workers should have access to effective hand protection, which includes education on hand safety and proper equipment. Outfitting employees with the correct gloves could help them avoid a potential hazard by giving them what they need to stay Safe@Work.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in cooperation with participating State agencies.
Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated Insurance. This is for general information and risk prevention purposes only. The recommendations herein may help reduce the risk of loss but are not a guarantee of the elimination of any risk of loss. It is not provided as a substitute for any regulatory standards that may apply. The information is accurate as of publication and is subject to change. The contents of this presentation should not be considered legal or expert advice. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances.
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