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Making Light of Hand Protection

Julie Copeland

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George Costanza knew the importance of hand safety. In one of my favorite SeinfeldChoose the right hand protection and keep your employees safe! episodes, George becomes a hand model and becomes overly protective of his hands. In typical George fashion, he manages to sustain a hand injury and ruins his modeling opportunity. For a laugh, check out this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZxX3-rJoNI.

In real life, hand injuries can be serious… and quite costly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 250,000 serious injuries to fingers, hands and wrists each year. In a recent year, nearly 8,000 of these injuries were amputations.  Glove wearing is one of the most effective hand protection safety programs a company can have. In fact, wearing any glove reduces the risk of hand injury by 27 percent, according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

In the workplace, hand injuries are the second most injured body part that leads to days away from work (back injuries are number one). In the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers reported that hand injuries led to an average number of five lost workdays.

OSHA guidelines, rules and regulations prescribe the appropriate hand protection for employees whose “hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.”

As a manufacturer of safety gloves and other safety products, we strive to not only provide the right type of safety glove for the right situation, but to help employers and their employees minimize the risk of safety injuries. When it comes to choosing a safety glove, there is much to consider. There are gloves designed to resist chemicals, protect from cuts, guard against electric shock and other hazards. There are gloves to protect from the cold and the heat. There are gloves that are coated, dipped and reinforced. If leather is preferred, there are choices of cowhide, deerskin, elkskin, goatskin, pigskin, and more – each with its own unique capabilities. There are string gloves, canvas loves, jersey gloves and general purpose gloves as well.

Of course, gloves have different linings and a variety of cuffs – pinked, rolled, straight and unlined to name a few. Each safety glove is designed with a select number of features to keep the users safe for the specific workplace tasks at hand.

For those who multi-task, they may require multiple forms of hand protection. Sometimes, those employees may need double or even triple glove wearing for protection. And if these workers have an issue with the glove they are told to wear, they may be using the wrong glove. That’s why it is so important to have experts assess the right glove for the right situation. The worker wearing the wrong glove is at risk of injury.

Arbill is sometimes asked to improve a glove for a specific task. Our efforts in this area have led to improved products, happier workers and reduced injuries. There’s no reason why hand safety can’t be comfortable and protective. Gloves today feature lighter coatings, greater dexterity, touch sensitivity, and oil absorbency for grip. We, like many manufacturers, have made it difficult for employees to go gloveless. Gone are the old excuses to remove gloves because they make the task more difficult.

Hand injuries, like most accidents, are 100% preventable through ongoing safety training efforts and using the proper protective equipment. When you take the time to follow through on providing training and equipment you greatly improve the well-being of your workers and protect your company from incurring expensive workers’ compensation costs.

To learn more about signing up your workers for ongoing safety training, call 800-523-5367 or click on the following link to speak with a workplace safety specialist at Arbill. Do it for George.

Have a safe day! 

Topics: Arbill, hand injuries, hand protection, OSHA, keep your employees safe, personal protective equipment

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