Hand protection equipment is personal protective equipment that focuses on protecting the hands from various dangers at the workplace. When we speak of hand protection, the first thing that comes to our minds is gloves. Gloves are essential hand protection equipment used worldwide by workers. However, it is also essential to choose the gloves correctly to suit the type of work you are doing. There are many factors to consider in such cases to ensure that protective equipment will protect the hands of the worker.
Hand protection equipment is closely related to arm protection, and there are different kinds of tools and equipment used for both purposes. Our prime focus here will be hand protection, as that is the first thing to focus on.
Circumstances that Require Gloves
Workers’ hands are constantly busy with work and surrounded by hazards that sometimes cause minor to severe injuries. Gloves can protect against many of those hazards. Some of the common reasons why workers prefer gloves so much are because they protect hands from:
- Chemical and thermal (temperature) burns
- Lacerations and punctures
- Corrosive or toxic chemicals
Common Types of Hand Injuries
The most common types of hand injuries that can occur at the workplace include the following:
Traumatic injuries can occur when the fingers get crushed in heavy machinery parts, wheels, chains, or gears. This can also result in cutting skin, skin, blood vessels, etc.
Contact or permeation injuries are other types that can be caused by coming in contact with harmful liquids, chemicals, acids, flammable liquids, solvents, and other such substances that can permeate through the skin. This can cause many irritations, burns, significant organ damage, etc.
Another type of injury that can occur at the workplace includes repetitive movement injuries caused by work requiring rapid and continuous hand movements. These injuries are common musculoskeletal injuries.
Thermal injury happens because of high temperatures of the gear or fire while dealing with hot parts, thermoplastic molds, welding-cutting, foundry works, thermoforming, eliminating food from broilers, and so on. Warm injury happens, such as consumption, dermatitis, frostbite, irritation, etc.
Steps to Follow to Protect Hands
- The first thing to do is to perform a risk assessment
- Follow the instructions of product labels or user manuals
- Use the appropriate type and size of gloves and other PPEs or barrier cream
- Avoid wearing any rings or other ornaments like watches or bracelets
- Give the hands rest by changing grip, motions, hands positions, etc
- Ensure to use machine guards and safety devices at all times
- It would help if you switched off and lockout machines that are not currently in use.
- Make sure to wash hands when working with corrosive chemicals.
Types of Equipment Available
As the name suggests, disposable gloves are used one time and then thrown away. These are protective gloves that can be used for various applications, especially in the medical field. They prevent the passing of any germs to the other person.
Glove dispensers are equipment that can store gloves in abundance, and you can have easy access to them at any time.
Welding gloves are a form of personal protective equipment that can protect the hands of the welders from welding hazards. They can protect against exposure to high temperatures and other such dangers.
The best work gloves can protect against many hazards, whether at a construction site or workshop.