Company health and safety experts know that selecting the right gloves for their workers is a vital part of ensuring the success of keeping their employees hands’ protected. Depending on the particular hazards of the job, much thought must go into making the right choice. Style is also important to workers and helps ensure compliance. Some PPE (personal protective equipment) may be unattractive, but leading glove manufacturers have gotten the message from retail and athletic clothing markets and developed fashionable, yet functional styles that workers will wear.
Health and safety experts also know that wearing a pair of gloves will not protect the hands of workers unless those workers are careful in performing their work duties, which includes being aware of the dangers their hands are exposed to, even while wearing gloves. Because gloves are made of materials that protect from abrasions, nicks, vibrations, and other hazards, some employees may think they are invincible. They are required to wear their PPE at all times on the job. If there are periods that they do not have to wear gloves, glove guards are handy to attach the gloves to clothing, where they are readily accessible.
Of course, as in any setting where PPE is required, training is mandated before the person starts his/her job. They must understand how important their personal protective equipment is, how to take care of it, and the need to report and replace any damaged or worn product. Workers that must wear gloves as part of their PPE must remember that unsafe conditions and acts cause injuries. The most important thing a worker can do is to keep those gloves on at all times, while working carefully. Be sure they fit and are comfortable, and if they look good, that’s a plus, too. There is no one type of glove that will prevent all hand injuries, and no glove will help avoid injury if it is not worn. Individuals must continually think about how he/she is handling the product he is working on, lifting, or running a particular type of equipment. He doesn’t want to go home missing a finger, or worse.
There are gloves that are high-visibility, others for furnishing good grip and protection. Women want to wear gloves that are made for their smaller hands. Gloves must fit properly to help the hands do their job. If they are too large, grip is lost. Some gloves furnish better ventilation than others, and there are fingerless gloves for mobility, yet they still allow good grip. Then there are gloves for the gardeners, for ranchers and farmers, and drivers. We see football players wearing gloves, as well as golfers (a golf glove). Why not look as sharp as they do, when we are working? I plan on getting some hi-vis gloves to wear this winter when taking walks with Buddy.
Gloves furnish dexterity, sensitivity, durability, and tactility. Each type excels in one or more of these descriptions. Some medical and industrial grade gloves may not meet the “style” factor, but play a very important part in protecting healthcare, food processing, and other types of workers’ hands. Leather gloves are soft and supple, yet are protective. One glove that even helps “do” the job in dark areas (such as under the hood of a car), has a light on the back of it!
Employees must be taught to know that PPE is the last (but very important) line of defense for their protection. Workers are the front line.