Hand Protection for the Workplace
More workplace injuries happen to hands than to any other part of the body, except for the back. Hands and fingers can get caught, pinched, jammed and crushed in machinery. Other potential hazards to hands and arms include skin absorption of chemical or biological hazards, chemical or thermal burns, electric shock, bruises, abrasions, cuts, punctures, fractures, or amputations.
The good news is that hand injuries can often be prevented through wearing PPE. With the proper awareness, appropriate safety gloves, and attention, both employers and employees can help eliminate workplace hand injuries.
Which Hand Protection Gear Is Best?
Safety gloves are available in a wide range of different styles, materials and sizes. At Southland, we do our best to give you a wide selection of hand protection options for all sorts of working environments.
Simply opting for the 'most popular' option is not always the best choice. The best place to start when selecting safety gloves for a task is to compare the exposure hazards to the protective qualities of the work gloves available. Many tasks will involve multiple hazards, and the work gloves selected should either protect against all the hazards, or more than one type of glove may have to be worn. Before purchasing any safety gloves, review your work activities to determine the degree of dexterity required, the work duration, frequency, and degree of exposure to the hazard, and the physical stresses that will be applied. There are several factors to consider when selecting a glove, such as size, the type of cuff, lining, and length.
There are Several Types of Safety Gloves:
- Disposable gloves – These hand gloves are best for one-time use situations. They provide the wearer minimal abrasive protection but are typically used for chemicals. Disposable gloves are available in a variety of materials and for a variety of tasks. They are typically very thin and provide extremely good sensitivity and dexterity.
- Chemical resistant gloves – These safety gloves protect against specific chemicals and liquids. They are usually thick enough to provide some protection against abrasion, cuts, punctures, and snags. Generally, any “chemical-resistant” glove can be used for dry powders.
- Cut-resistant gloves – cut resistant hand protection are available in a wide variety of materials, including metal-mesh, Kevlar®, and aluminised and other cut-resistant materials. They offer protection against cuts and scrapes caused by knives and other sharp tools and equipment.
- Leather gloves – Qualities of leather work gloves include comfort, durability, dexterity, mild heat resistance, and abrasion resistance.
- Puncture-resistant gloves – Puncture resistant safety gloves offer protection against most sharp objects, including glass, metal, and hypodermic needles. Puncture-resistant gloves are rated according to the level of force required to puncture the material.
- Anti-vibration/impact gloves – These safety gloves protect the wearer from vibration or impact from tools and equipment. Helps prevent hand, finger, and arm fatigue.
- Electrical gloves – As the name implies, electrical-rated gloves provide protection against shock hazards
We recommend that you stay safe at work and that you protect your hands by wearing suitable safety gloves, whether they are leather gloves, vinyl gloves, rubber gloves, foam coated gloves, cut resistant gloves, needlestick resistant gloves, chemical gloves or disposable gloves.
At Southland we aim to help every one of our customers to find suitable personal protective equipment, including hand protection, that enables them to do the job efficiently and safely. Keeping hands healthy at work is often straightforward and simple and with a little vigilance and awareness, you can help prevent unnecessary injuries.
If you are having trouble deciding which hand protection is best for your needs, one of our team would be happy to help.