Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Weekly Safety Topic – Gloves are PPE

Take a minute and think about life without your fingers and thumbs.  We use them to accomplish tasks, touch loved ones, and pick up and carry our children.  Hand injuries happen on construction projects because we fail to protect ourselves.  The right glove for the job can provide a barrier between getting an injury and not getting one. 

There are many gloves on the market today to choose from.  It is crucial to select the right glove for your job.  Some gloves provide cut resistance, some withstand high temperatures, and some are used to protect against chemicals.  The right pair of gloves can provide protection, and comfort and even increase your productivity.

Work Gloves can be leather, cloth, or synthetic material.  These are what we are perhaps most familiar with. 

Cut Resistant Gloves are gloves designed to protect the wearer’s hands from cuts while working with sharp tools or materials.  They can be divided into metal mesh gloves, cut and sewn, and seamless knitted gloves.

Chemical-Resistant Gloves- this type of glove offers varying degradation resistance and permeation resistance levels, typically providing the user with a better grip.  These gloves are made from synthetic materials such as latex, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nitrile, butyl, or neoprene. 

Temperature-Resistant Gloves- allow users to perform tasks requiring extreme temperatures like wielding.

While gloves protect your hands, they can make maintaining a firm grip more difficult.  When selecting a glove, makes sure you can firmly grasp materials, tools, handrails, etc.… Protecting your hands should not result in another type of injury.

Hand injuries, like most workplace injuries, are preventable.  Hand injuries are still among the leading causes of missed workdays and emergency-room visits year after year.  Costing the industry millions of dollars in workers’ compensation costs and lost productivity.  The ultimate cost is to the person that receives the injury.  Again imagine your life without your figures, thumbs, or hands.  Now imagine if wearing a glove could protect you from that loss.  What choice are you going to make?

REMINDER: If you provide first aid, CPR, or clean up after an incident involving bodily fluids, wear Latex or Nitrile gloves to protect yourself from exposure to infections materials.    

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