[Webinar] How One Decision Reduced an Auto Plant’s Hand Injuries by 50%
Superior Glove recently had the pleasure of hosting two of the automotive industry’s finest experts: Derek Coughlin of Superior Glove and Alex Blair of DuPont™ Kevlar®.
In this webinar titled “How One Decision Reduced an Auto Plant’s Hand Injuries by 50%,” Derek and Alex review the steps that they took to help an automotive plant reduce their PPE costs and prevent hand injuries.
Below is the full recording of the webinar, along with key takeaways from the hour-long presentation.
Watch the FREE webinar now:
1. The Highest Cut Resistance ≠ Best Option for Cut Resistance:
Unless you’re doing jobs like heavy metal stamping or pulp and paper, gloves on the higher end of the scale — cut level A7, A8, or A9 — aren’t really needed. According to Derek, cut level A4 is becoming the preferred level of cut resistance in a lot of situations.
Instead of looking for the highest cut resistance, Derek suggested finding gloves that provide cut protection but also that employees find comfortable.
For more in-depth info on this topic, read our article Are You Choosing High Cut Gloves Incorrectly?
2. Laundering Programs are Smart Decisions:
If you’re dissatisfied with the lifespan of your glove, the glove may not be the issue.
Most people will throw their gloves out when they become dirty, typically after two or three uses. But most modern quality gloves are designed to hold up to the rigors of washing.
By implementing a laundering program, your company can reduce costs because it’s cheaper to wash a load of gloves than it is to replace them after a couple of uses.
To get the most out of your laundering program be sure to follow proper laundering instructions provided by the manufacturer.
“You can potentially get another 3 to 4 washes out of a glove that is laundered properly rather than just hit with a lot of heat.”
When Derek visits plants, he notices workers will grab 10 to 15 pairs of gloves at a time, and used gloves will be strewn across the floor.
He suggests pairing laundering with a “get-a-glove-give-a-glove” program to reduce the amount of gloves being used.
3. Bring Everyone Into the Conversation:
In the webinar, management’s main goal was to look at why they had such high glove usage and why their hand injuries were so high.
Superior and DuPont™ coordinated a wear trial with the on-site distributor and laundering company and took the following steps:
- Interview employees about likes and dislikes of current gloves.
- Introduce new gloves based on feedback.
- Provide feedback cards for new gloves.
- Wash gloves by launderer with same wash cycles as the gloves they were looking to replace.
- Washed gloves were taken to DuPont™’s technical staff for cut testing to confirm that cut properties didn’t degrade.
“The company is now completely converted to this product now as a result of our findings,” Alex said, “so it was a very good scenario for everyone.” This was only possible by bringing everyone into the conversation. Superior and DuPont™ considered the variables, listened to the concerns from all parties and that helped to successfully eliminate concerns and improve the plant’s situation.
4. Don’t Forget About Abrasion Resistance:
When it comes to hand and arm protection, people tend to focus on the level of cut resistance that the PPE provides. But a product’s level of abrasion resistance should also be considered.
“A lot of companies are going cheaper, cheaper, cheaper, but then are also trying to wash their gloves but that doesn’t really work,” said Derek. “The reason why is that the glove wears out prematurely.”
In this case study, the automotive plant was purchasing a less expensive glove based on the bottom line. But because employees had to swap the glove out two to three times per shift, it became more expensive in the long run. The wear trial proved that the company could save money on a higher-end glove as long as they had a longer wear life.
“Gloves made for the automotive industry should not be treated as a one-and-done,” Alex said, “they are designed to be reused.”
5. Look at Consolidation:
Consolidation is another option for saving costs. It’s part of the strategy that Alex and Derek look to when visiting a plant. The benefit that Derek highlights is that rather than having 10 different gloves that perform similar tasks, “you can consolidate [your gloves] to two or three… it’s much more effective.”
It’s beneficial for the purchasing department, who are watching the bottom line; it clears up the clutter of stocking several different styles, and makes it easier for employees to select the proper glove for the task.
Bonus Take Away — Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help:
Having a good relationship with your distributor and glove manufacturer helps to keep safety at the forefront and keep costs down. With programs like our Advocate Hand Protection Program, hand safety specialists like Derek and engineered-yarn experts like Alex are always willing to come visit your plant, make suggestions and help keep workers safe.
Want to learn more about the glove that solved their problems?
Read our post: Could This Glove Save You $200,000 as Well?