In our previous two blog posts we have discussed the two primary testing standards for gloves: ANSI and EN388. This week we are going to discuss our approach to helping our clients choose the right hand protection, even if that requires developing a custom glove.
The data referenced in our last blog shows that hand injuries are on the rise and can be costly; costly for the company, as well as, for the affected employee. Healthy hands are essential for daily functions whether we are on the job, working at home or enjoying time with loved ones. For many, life can become extremely difficult after suffering a debilitating hand injury.
A hand safety program must address all areas of protection:
- Potential hazardous materials that burn, freeze, or are acutely toxic if absorbed through the skin
- Pinch points that can crush or mangle fingers
- Sharp or piercing objects that can lacerate or puncture your hand
Despite a company’s diligence in providing gloves for its employees there are some common reasons why hand injuries still occur:
- In an effort to control costs some companies limit the types of gloves provided. If the standard glove does not adequately protect for all job roles, employees will tend to find ways to improvise the way in which the gloves are used, which may not be as the manufacturer intended. This can potentially increase the risk of injury.
- Many times the glove can be adequate to protect against work hazards but does not provide enough dexterity for the job task. We’ve seen many cases where the employee removes the glove briefly to do a delicate task and ends up suffering an injury.
- Inadequate training and competency development. It’s no secret that many industries have lost experienced and tenured craft professionals. For those seasoned experts, refresher and continued awareness-level training may be adequate. As the economy begins to rebound there will be a greater number of less experienced workers entering these industries, but most likely without the benefit of experienced mentors to help guide and train them. Companies will need to take advantage of new learning methodologies to expedite closure of knowledge and skills gaps related to hand safety.
Experience is Key to understanding prevention….
Key Safety begins by assessing our client’s job roles and the associated hazards by position . This process includes evaluating the existing training and competency standards for avoiding hand injuries and protection measures available.
We work in a direct role with our clients to review the areas of potential risk, as well as, what methods are working and where there is room for improvement. Together we evaluate what level of resistance for cut, abrasion, puncture and tear may be needed. This evaluation includes a cost vs. value analysis for the glove candidates we present.
From here our clients choose the 3-4 options that offer the best protective value and we can facilitate a wear trial to gather some data and feedback from employee’s use on the job.
There are instances when the job requirements are so unique that no single glove can provide the appropriate protection. Once we have reached this point in the evaluation we can engage one of several glove manufacturers, each having their own unique design and materials capabilities to create a unique glove addressing the company’s need.
Moving forward through the custom process there will be several scope and design meetings until a satisfactory prototype has been created. Once the manufacturer creates the glove and has the proper standardized testing completed, we will receive samples to conduct a wear trial. Your employees will have the opportunity to try them on, use them in their work role, and decide what they like and dislike about the glove. We will take this feedback and apply the proper corrections to the glove. This part of the process may take a few attempts to perfect the glove. You can be assured that your employees will have the proper protection to perform their job productively and safely.
The featured picture is a custom glove made for one of our global customers by Lift Safety. With an EN388 cut level of 5 and fully dipped it is now in its final wear trial stages and will soon be ready for employees use.
We approach our client’s needs with a Servant’s Heart and we are proud of our ability to create real solutions for our client’s….even if it requires manufacturing a custom glove. Contact us today for help evaluating your hand protection program!!