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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.
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.
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!
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!)
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.