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Workers are usually careful. Very careful. But being careful at work is only part of what it takes to prevent a painful accident or one that’s devastating. An accident usually happens when it’s least expected. That’s the nature of most hand injuries, and why workers need the highest quality and most job-appropriate PPE that they can get.
With the right gloves, you could prevent a trip to the hospital — or even save a worker’s life.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2014 saw 137,440 incidents of hand injury among the private sector, in state government, and in local government jobs. The vast majority of those – 119,810 – were in the private industry, and resulted in a median of 5 days of work lost. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada reports that 500,000 hand injuries happen every year in Canada.
Injuries cost workers and employers a lot in terms of in lost wages and worker’s compensation claims, not to mention pain and suffering. A simple cut is painful. In the wrong spot, it could put a worker out of commission for a while. With a worse injury in a worse spot, the damage can be overwhelming and cause permanent disability.
Industrial Safety and Hygiene explains that most injuries happen to workers without proper hand protection. Many others happen where workers use protective gloves that are damaged, worn out or inadequate / improper for the job.
The good news is that more companies in Canada and the U.S. have a hand protection program in place, and workers are starting to embrace the idea. Even those who used to believe that being careful was enough to prevent injury, or that gloves got in the way of a good day’s work. The reality is that with so many different styles available, there is at least one great glove for nearly every industry, whether it deals with chemicals, physical hazards, extreme weather, or all of that and more.
Sometimes a hand injury isn’t the end of an accident; sometimes it’s the beginning. When a worker working aloft or one handling dangerous equipment experiences a hand injury, the first thing to go is usually grip. This can cause a devastating fall, loss of control of dangerous equipment, severe burns, and many other equally unpleasant outcomes.
The correct hand protection for the job means fewer hand injuries, and fewer chances for the domino effect to turn the incident into multiple injuries or worse. Unfortunately, some employees take off gloves or fail to wear them at all if they fit poorly, impair dexterity, or otherwise make the job more difficult than going without would. But employers can dramatically improve the odds of workers using PPE when the right gloves are provided.
PPE is typically provided for all workers, as required by both Canadian and American authorities, with a few exceptions. But there’s a difference between an average work glove and the right one.
The bare minimum can feel uncomfortable, lack the proper level of protection and impair movement to a degree that discourages workers from using them at all. Fortunately, technology is so advanced that you’re likely to find the perfect combination of features in the right sizes for your whole company.
Not sure if your workers are wearing the best gloves for your application? Through our Superior Advocate Program, we partner with businesses to ensure that your workers are wearing the right glove for the job.
Click below to get started and experience an increased level of productivity and safety in your workplace.
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Download the Definitive Guide to Hand Protection for FREE.
Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.