July 28, 2015 | Joe Geng |

5 Major Causes of Hand Protection Waste and How to Reduce Them…

1. Injuries

By far the largest cost with regard to hand protection are those incidents when safety procedures and PPE fail to protect workers and result in injuries. Try our ROI calculator to determine what hand injuries are costing your facility each year. The results can be shocking. Don’t forget to follow the hierarchy of hazard controls when trying to eliminate injuries; hint PPE should be your last line of defense!


2. Stock Outs

Shut downs or even slow downs in work because lack of stock on PPE can be extremely costing. Shutting down an automotive Line for one hour, costs a staggering $1,250,000 (source: businessfwd.org). You may not be Toyota or GM but the reduction in productivity due to a stock on PPE are still not something you’ll want to be explaining to your CFO. It is best practice to discuss stocking levels at your facility, at the distributors warehouse with and manufacturer to help reduce the risk of a stock outs across the board. In addition, work with your distributor to decide on and approve an equivalent back up product, before you come across an unforeseen issue. The extra effort up front will save you a lot of headaches down the road.


3. Premature Wear

Our studies have shown that roughly 52% of gloves are thrown out because of premature wear. Many of these issues can be addresses by working with your PPE supplier and with the manufacturer directly. The most common issues we see here are premature wear with coated gloves and poor stitching on leather gloves. With regard to coatings, ask for abrasion test data to compare different coatings. For stitching issues, ask if the common wear areas can be reinforced or patches applied.

Here is an example of a cut and sewn glove that failed prematurely at the seam:

seam fail glove leads to hand protection waste

4. Premature Disposal of Gloves:

Similarly in studies we’ve done a shocking 29% of gloves are being discarded well before their wear life is up. If you are laundering your gloves , it is best practice to review the scrap from the laundering company 2-4 times per year. You’ll want to insure your definition of a “scrap glove” is the same as the launderer. Both gloves thrown out prematurely or gloves used beyond the point where they continue offer adequate protection are common issues. Many laundering companies offer patching services to extend the wear life of a glove. It is important to ensure you are still getting adequate protection from a repaired glove though. Make sure they are using the right materials in the patch, ie. patching a Kevlar glove with a cotton patch is not recommended!


5. Transportation:

Simply having to walk too far and not having access to PPE when needed are a large, although hidden source of waste in your facility . For more info on the benefits of a vending program, check out this blog article.

Joe Geng
About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove