Your Hands are your job!
Those who use their hands regularly at work will appreciate that without the correct Personal Protective Equipment you can severely damage your hands. There has been many studies throughout the last 10 years directly linking PPE with hand health and those who do not wear an adequate level of protection can have several types of injuries.
Those injuries include:
- Industrial Hazards
- Temperature Related Injuries
- Chemical Effects
Each of these are dealt with in different ways, some of which can be fixed with as little as a plaster/bandage. However major injuries can require a lot more treatment, these can mean that you will be out of work for days, weeks or in some cases years.
Just think, how much you use your hands in your job?
Industrial hazards consist of injuries such as lacerations, abrasions, puncture and crush wounds. The effect of these injuries can vary and in most circumstances depend on the size of the object that caused the injury. For instance if you was to get your hand sliced by a small sharp object depending on the type of protection you was wearing you can recover within a matter of hours. However in cases where the item was larger the recovery time can be dramatically increased due to the amount of medical attention you need to have.
The type of gloves that you will need to prevent an incident like this would be cut resistant gloves, these can help reduce the risk of lacerations, abrasions and punctures. There are gloves that can reduce the impact of crush wounds however these gloves can be considered cumbersome and can decrease your ability to work.
Musculoskeletal injuries in most cases are directly linked to excessive vibrations, non-ergonomic workstations and repetitive strain injury. Regularly these injuries go unnoticed until years later as they slowly wear away at your muscles, bones and joints.
There are many types of gloves to help reduce the chance of getting some of these injuries, there are anti-vibration gloves which softens the effect of the vibration and therefor doesn’t affect your hands as much. As well as a variety of well fitted gloves which can be unnoticeable after time, however the use of these gloves can and will protect you against these types of injuries.
Using the wrong glove can make the effect of the injury worse, so it is important that you understand the risk before you purchase your protective equipment.
Temperature Related Injuries
There is two extremes of temperature, hot and cold, both of which can cause serious injuries.
Cold temperatures come in two types long and short exposure, an example of this would be extended exposure to extreme working conditions, another would be contact with an extremely cold object.
High temperatures usually are associated with burns, which can cover anything from electrical arcs, hot objects from welded materials or any object with an extreme heat. However you can also receive injuries from friction related injuries.
Temperature related injuries can in most cases be prevented with the use of protective equipment, but when choosing your protection be sure to use the correct procedure of identifying the hazard before you purchase protective equipment as the product may be incorrect.
A popular hazard in the food industry where the chance of infection is higher, however there are many ways to protect against this. One very simple way would be to regularly wash your hands to reduce the amount of bacteria, many companies have a specific policy to match this.
However work gloves can further prevent the chance of infection, especially when it comes to lacerations. A very simple way of being infected is to make a small cut or laceration on the hand which mixed with a bacteria can dramatically increase the chance of infection.
Chemical related injuries are often very severe in cases where there is exposure of a very harsh chemical from as little as a second. There are other cases where there is prolonged or repeated exposure to the chemical which can be less harmful in small doses, however due to the length of time they have been exposed for the chemical works its way in the skin or sometimes the lungs, via breathing in the chemical fumes.
Chemical burns are different from heat burns due to their ability to be less visible and often does give of heat, but gives the victim a burning like sensation causing sometimes extreme levels of pain. These chemical can very quickly embed itself within your pours and can be very difficult to remove, sometime usual technique like washing the affected area with water can have little some no help. A chemical burn should immediately be dealt with by either having someone who is trained to treat you immediately or by calling the ambulance service.
Some chemicals may not cause you any pain but over time can wear away the skin and cause you to have a weaker defense against pathogens or infections through the cracks are wounds in the skin.
What types of Safety Gloves are there?
The type of glove you require depends of the type of hazard as defined in the previous section, there is many to choose from and are usually defined by the material used to make it.
Latex is good for water-based materials and use with organic materials, however doesn’t offer any chemical protection nor does it protect against abrasions or lacerations.
Nitrile is often used as a latex replacement and dependent of the thickness can protect against abrasion and lacerations, used to cover a cotton glove. However you can buy gloves made entirely from this material and gives you fairly good protection against some acids, solvents and other chemicals.
Good for chemicals and most hazardous materials however does not perform well against hydrocarbons, alcohols, acids and other solvents.
Used mostly to protect against hazardous chemicals, this glove offers extended protection, however a poor fit against the hand is usually.
PVC is a good protection against acids, oils, fats and other chemicals. It is also effective against abrasions and lacerations.
Offers good protection against aromatic and chlorinated solvents.
Stainless Steel, Kevlar, Leather
These materials are often used as cut resistance material to protect against lacerations, abrasions and other cuts.
When choosing your glove be careful, as this is sometimes the only thing protecting you from the hazard. You should always follow this simple process:
- What is the hazard?
- What material will protect me against this?
- Does this glove have the correct safety standards?
- Is it sold by a reliable seller?
By following this simple process you can help maximise your safety and protection.
To view the gloves we sell on Siteking you can visit the safety gloves shop.