Hand protection is one of the most challenging pieces of PPE to correctly purchase as it must simultaneously offer the wearer sufficient protection while enabling them to productively carry out their day-to-day work and tasks.
It should go without saying, but hand protection is one of the most important pieces of PPE. Across all industries, there’s a range of hazards that must be protected against ranging from everyday use such as cold weather to more application specific challenges, such as work with sharp objects and exposure to chemicals and oil.
The breadth of hazards makes effective specification of safety gloves critical because there’s a requirement to consider a wide number of variables while also meeting the specific demands of each individual application.
With so many factors to consider it’s important for those who are tasked with looking at PPE to get to grips of some of the fundamental considerations.
You need to look at the comfort and employee engagement. The biggest influences on any type of PPE is making sure it’s comfortable. Even before addressing the safety hazards for any given role, it’s critical that the wearer is able to use the hand protection for extended periods of time. Failure to prioritise this at the early stages will result in the employee not using it and not wearing the gloves and putting themselves at risk. Comfort can be viewed in a number of different ways, but it’s the most basic needs. They need to be comfortable.
Be specific. Obviously, get your comfort sorted and make sure it’s doing the correct job as it’s supposed to do and that it’s fit for purpose. Make sure that the staff member is able to undertake a thorough audit of the day-to-day tasks so that the employee is able to complete their work.
There’s a whole range of hazards to protect against such as:
- Is it the right material for the work?
- Can it do the work without increasing any other problems?
- How is the comfort?
- Can they be easily maintained?
- Are they suitable for the work?
- Where do they need to be stored?
There will need to be training for the employee on the use, how to store the gloves and also what to do as/when damaged.
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