Protecting Hands in the Workplace
Gloves are a mainstay in plants, mills, warehouses, maintenance facilities, and more. Choosing the right glove for the application is a critical step in protecting workers. To help you make your selection, here are some tips.
- Get a complete and accurate description of the tasks where gloves are required
- Identify all hazards that may require hand protection, including chemical hazards and physical hazards like cuts, burns, etc.
- Determine how much flexibility and touch sensitivity will be required to perform the task
- Identify if non-slip grip is necessary
- If working with chemicals, assess the type of chemical contact – occasional contact, splashes, or continuous immersion
- Determine the need for durability and resistance to deterioration or other damage due to contact with sharp objects, chemicals, rough surfaces, heat, etc. This may involve reviewing technical information about products such as permeation rate, breakthrough time, penetration, and degradation
- Consider how long a worker will be exposed to the hazard(s)
- Determine the potential effects of skin exposure, such as irritation or corrosion, as well as system-wide health effects of chemical exposure
- Determine what size(s) of gloves you’ll need to fit you and your co-workers
- Identify what training will be required. Employee training should include a discussion of the hazards, glove selection, limitations of gloves, what could happen if gloves fail, safe glove removal to prevent contamination, and when to dispose of or decontaminate gloves
Taking the time to assess and analyze minimizes workplace injuries and protects employees.