Getting to grips with the best Hand Protection for your workplace
We have put together this guide to selecting gloves to help you select appropriate hand protection for your workplace requirements.
Manual handling tasks, no matter how intensive, remain one of the most frequent causes of workplace injury.
Therefore, it's important to select the correct hand protection for the application at hand - no single glove will provide universal, everlasting protection.
To ensure that you and your employees are protected, always take note of the 4-digit pictogram on the back of the glove, which provides test ratings for abrasion, cut, tear and puncture resistance (where 1=low protection and 5=maximum protection).
Glove Features Glossary
- Anti-Vibration: for protection from HAVS when handling machinery and equipment.
- Chemical Hazard: provides protection against common chemicals in dry, wet and oily conditions.
- Disposable: offers temporary hand protection. Available in a variety of materials, including latex and powder free options, typically used in the automotive industry.
- General Handling: gloves with options including enhanced grip, dexterity, or low lint transfer for product/manual handling.
- Heat-resistant: high strength stitching and welting to protect against extreme heat, including welding tasks.
- Leather: ideal for drivers and handling environments for dexterity and protection combined.
- Thermal: gloves offering high performance in extreme cold conditions.
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Remember: Users must actually wear gloves and use them properly to gain maximum protection!
Here are summaries of the relevant laws surrounding the requirements for Gloves in the Workplace.
● Selecting Gloves for working with Chemicals.
The following is summorised from www.hse.gov.uk
UK law requires employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all risks to health from exposure to chemical agents in the workplace.
Covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act)1 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH).2
It covers where it can be clearly demonstrated that:
- there are occasions at work that present risks to health and safety that are inescapable; and
- methods for their control other than protective gloves are not within reason practicable; employers bear legal duties to supply appropriate protective gloves to employees who may be exposed to these types of risk.3 All protective gloves that are provided must be manufactured to the relevant standard and be compatible with:
- the user;
- the type of work to be undertaken;
- the rest of the PPE to be worn, such as overalls, aprons, masks or footwear.
1 The H&S at Work Act 1974 HMSO 1974 ISBN 0 10 543774 3
2 General COSHH ACOP and Carcinogens ACOP and Biological agents ACOP. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 Approved Codes of Practice L5 1999 HSE Books ISBN 0 7176 1670 3
3 Personal protective equipment at work. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 Guidance on Regulations L25 1992 HSE Books ISBN 0 7176 0415 2