Hand Safety – Gloves Safety

Hand Safety – Gloves



Can you name 6 types of injuries that can be prevented with gloves?

OSHA has reported that nearly one-fourth of workplace injuries involve the hands.  This shouldn’t be surprising given that we use our hands for most of the tasks that we do at work.  But OSHA also reported that in 70% of hand injuries no gloves were being worn or improper or damaged gloves were being used.

Some of the types of injuries that properly selected gloves can prevent include…

  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Skin absorption of harmful substances
  • Pinches and crushes
  • Punctures
  • Chemical and thermal burns

There are several considerations when selecting a glove.  Consider the task.  For example, is dexterity needed to manipulate small tools or is achieving a firm grip more important.  Consider the hazards.  Does the task require something other than a basic cut resistant work glove?  For example, are chemicals involved?  Consider the length of time the glove will be used.  This is more critical for chemical gloves.  Some gloves may degrade on prolonged direct contact with certain chemicals.

Other considerations to ensure gloves provide the protection you expect include…

  • Ensuring that the gloves are the right size – gloves that are too small limit your hands’ mobility and could tear. Gloves that are too big limit your dexterity.
  • Inspecting gloves before use – check for damage and replace gloves if they have tears, holes, or other defects.
  • Avoiding fabric or leather gloves when chemicals are involved.
  • Keeping your hands clean – dirt and grease transfers from your hands to the inside of your gloves where it stays in contact with your hands creating potential irritation or dermatitis problems.

Like other PPE, gloves only work when they’re worn.  Get in the habit of wearing your gloves before you enter a unit rather than hoping to remember to put them on before touching equipment & tools.  You never know when you’ll really need them.