August 19, 2016 | Joe Geng |

Expert Interview: Alex Blair of DuPont™ Kevlar® on Risk Assessments



Alex Blair Dupont Kevlar

Following up on our automotive safety interview, we wanted to sit down with Alex and discuss some of the trends he’s noticed when it comes to safety in the workplace, as well for some actionable steps you can take to make your workplace safer.

1. How are your products used by the automotive and metal fabrication industries today?

Gloves and sleeves containing Kevlar® are used in these industries to provide protection from cuts and abrasion, as well as thermal hazards.

2. What are the biggest safety risks to workers in these industries?

Cuts/lacerations (both recordable and non-recordable ones) are a big concern in these segments. The average recordable hand injury can cost companies well over $20,000.

3. What should these workers be doing to mitigate these safety risks?

Workers should make sure they are using the correct glove and sleeve for the application/job task.

4. What are the most common mistakes you’ve observed in these industries when it comes to managing safety?

The most common mistake I see is safety managers who allow their purchasing department to make decisions on glove and sleeve options based on price, rather than on performance and level of protection.

Construction workers and architect looking at blueprints on construction site.
5. What do workers need to know about maintaining the integrity of their safety equipment?

Gloves and sleeves containing Kevlar® offer cut resistance but are not cut-proof. Using the published laundry instructions, they can be washed multiple times. It is recommended that work gloves and sleeves be washed/cleaned by a professional laundry service.

6. How often should safety gear be inspected and/or replaced?

Gear should be inspected before, during, and at the end of each usage cycle. Those doing the inspection should pay close attention to critical wear areas – like the thumb crotch area. Gear should be replaced if they have holes or areas that are wearing thinner than others.

7. What should companies be doing to better educate their employees on safety risks?

Employees should be educated on cut standards, as well as the new technologies that are available for protection. Many end users still use cotton and leather for hand protection even though they provide very little protection [in certain industries]. Employees should be educated that certain job tasks might require a different glove than what has “always been worn.”

8. What innovations in safety equipment are you most excited about right now?

DuPont™ is working closely with key channel partners on products that offer higher levels of cut without sacrificing dexterity and productivity.

Thanks so much for your valuable insight, Alex! We always enjoy having the opportunity to chat with our knowledgeable friends at DuPont™ Kevlar®, and discuss the issues facing today’s generation of workers. Thank you as well for your thoughtful suggestions on what our readers can do to make their workplaces safer.

Wondering how your workplace compares to others in your industry? Curious about what else you can do to increase worker safety? Take our short safety quiz.

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Joe Geng
About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove

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