Selecting The Best Hand Protection For Your Employees

Different industrial processes require different kinds of protective workwear and protective hand wear is no exception. Fortunately, there is a range of options available, as well as detailed advice about how to follow PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) guidelines. Conforming to existing legislation is an important part of ensuring health and safety procedures are in place at work, and are being enforced.

Relevant legislation

Safety wear products you use must meet the requirements of the PPE Regulations 2002. For example, hands and arms may be exposed to several different types of hazards, including abrasions, electrical shocks and extremes of temperature, cuts and punctures. There are also dangers for workers who need to handle chemicals or immerse their arms and hands in water for a lengthy period. Vibration and impact can also cause problems, as can some biological agents.

EN388 legislation provides information and advice about safety gloves that is easy to understand and to follow. It orders hand protection using four criteria, including resistance to:

  • Abrasion (ranked from 1-4).
  • Blade cutting (ranked from 1-5).
  • Tearing (ranked from 1-4).
  • Puncture (ranked from 1-4).

Working days lost

 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported more than 600,000 non-fatal injuries at work in the year 2015-16, of which one-fifth were related to handling, carrying or lifting. In all, about 4.5 million working days were lost due to self-reported injuries during the year. Adequate protection for employees and good health and safety procedures mean better productivity for the employer and fewer days lost to sickness or injury.

Hand protection for specific needs

Choosing the right gloves, gauntlets or sleeving for the job is very important. For example, you may need some or all of the following:

It’s also vital to make sure you choose gloves that are a good fit for each employee that needs protective hand wear. Involve your employees in the selection process and ensure they check garments thoroughly before they start to use them.

Within each category, there may be several classes of protection and this is the case with chemical resistant gloves, which are designed to allow safe handling of a range of chemicals. Expert suppliers are familiar with these categories and can guide you and your employees as to which gloves will suit your purposes and provide sufficient protection.

Be vigilant

Finally, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees are adequately trained to work safely and that they actually use their safety gloves when required. Sometimes workers can be tempted to not bother if a task is likely to take only a few minutes. All sensible employers know that this is exactly the point when safety practices need to kick in. Otherwise, the workplace environment becomes an accident waiting to happen. Encourage your employees to take all the right precautions for their own good, as well as for the safety of their colleagues at work.

Disclaimer: The information provided through Legislation Watch is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Legislation Watch is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.

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