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The Psychology of Hand Protection and Work Place Safety

by Joe Geng on March 11, 2014

Comments (2)


When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), gloves certainly aren’t the biggest purchase that’s made and they sure don’t cover a lot of square footage on the human body. They do, however, help prevent 25 percent of all workplace accidents which involve hand and finger injuries. This blog looks at how the psychology behind taking the time to select the proper gloves.

 

OSHA Study on Hand Injuries:

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) study revealed that 70 percent of workers who suffered hand injuries were not wearing gloves. Injuries among the remaining 30 percent resulted because the hand protection was ill fitting, damaged, or not suitable for the application.

Proper selection and implementation of gloves — and PPE in general — is critical for employee engagement and motivation. This is the most important factor in a safe work place. The gloves workers wear may seem like a small decision, but small details have a big impact on the safety and performance of a business.

 

Psychological Benefits of Selecting the Right Work Glove:

Believe it or not, spending time to select the proper PPE has psychological benefits on employees. When workers feel confident about their safety, they respect their employers and recognize the value they have to the company. They feel cared for and protected.

A recent case study conducted with an oilfield company illustrates this point. The company was spending $3 per pair for leather work gloves and replacing them almost daily- amounting to costs between $2,000 – $3, 000 per month. Workers were getting a lot of pinch points, puncture wounds, cuts and abrasions. Their HSE Specialist, Christopher, looked for a solution to increased hand injuries. Chris researched gloves that would better hold up to the daily risks employees encountered. He ended up swapping out their leather gloves for engineered anti-impact gloves. They cost four times the amount of the leather ones.

Can that really be cost effective? Absolutely!

 

New Gloves = New Outlook on Safety:

There was an immediate change reported in the working life. Over the next few months, Christopher received over 20 suggestion cards from his team. They shared stories of instances where the gloves saved their hands. One report in this case study recounts a frightening incident, where the gloves saved a man’s hand from crushing. As workers were rolling a piece of pipe on the table, it caught one person’s hand between the rack. The pipe weighed 2,800 lbs. “We took the gloves off; he had no bruising, no broken bones, no torn ligaments .He walked away. Had he not had those gloves on, it would have changed everything. His injury, plus $15,000 to $20,000 to fix his hand, lost time of up to 20 weeks off work… worker morale. The gloves work. They work.”

This kind of incident happens often in the dangerous tasks many of today’s workers face. Investing in the proper PPE can help reduce injuries. It’s imperative that everyone involved in glove selection is educated in the options that are available.

(Want to improve productivity, workplace health and safety and save money? Our hand specialists can help!)

 

psychology of hand safety
psychology of hand safety


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Reader Comments

darryl.park@hawaiianelectric.com'

Do you manufacture tight fitting gloves that are arc flash and voltage resistant? I have a crew that breaks into concrete jackets encasing ducts containing energized electrical cables. They have punctured transite ducts twice and caused flashovers. Luckily no one has been hurt. They use a jack hammer that allows for a hand wearing a tight fitting glove to squeeze the trigger. If a rubber glove with a protector on it is worn to protect from voltage and arc flash, the thickness of the glove and protector causes the trigger to operate the hammer unexpectedly. i have found that other companies work practices call for deenergizing the cables in the ducts they are working on but here in Honolulu we do not have that luxury. Ducts with electrical circuits are run close together with others due to the density of the buildings and lack of land area to spread things out.

Reply Darryl Park - September 22, 2015

    Hi Darryl,

    In response to your question, I’ve consulted one of our Safety Experts who specializes in protection against Arc Flash, and he assures me that unfortunately, at this time, there isn’t any one pair of gloves on the market that fulfil both of those requirements at the same time. The reason for this is that it’s very difficult to create a glove that has both enough HV protection and offers AR protection at the same time. However, we do offer tight fitting Arc Flash resistant gloves (we would recommend either part #S13FRNE or #378GKTFG) however, please be mindful that these WILL NOT also offer your crew protection against High Voltage; what we would suggest for your specific situation is for you to look into sourcing some rubber inserts to wear inside of the Arc Flash protectant gloves (unfortunately we no longer offer these), to ensure that your crew will be safe from both hazards at the same time! Hope this helps. Glad to hear that no one has gotten hurt at this point, but we hope you can rectify this situation soon! Feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions.

    Reply Joe Geng - September 23, 2015



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