Research and site inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), highlighted that 40 per cent of construction sites inspected over a 4 week period did not have sufficient health and safety measures in place to properly protect workers.
When you combine this with a further study which found that wearing gloves on the construction site reduced the relative risk of injury by 60 per cent, the benefits of this simple risk protection process is clear.
Duty of Care
As a construction firm you owe a duty of care to provide a safe working environment to your employees, together with adequate protection and appropriate tools to carry out their work. Ensuring that workers have the correct safety gloves is an important, yet easy, way to improve safety standards and reduce injury.
Should an employee suffer a hand injury and believe that they were not provided (or advised) on the correct gloves or protective clothing, you could be held responsible and your business may be subject to employers liability claims under your Construction Insurance, as well as HSE fines.
Advice and Health and Safety Support
While your employers and labour only sub-contractors may be aware that they need to wear protective gloves on the job, choosing the right pair may not be so simple and your advice and support could be invaluable.
Generally, this process will begin with an assessment of a job role, balancing the specific needs with the characteristics of each type of glove to determine which pair is right for each area of your business.
Main Factors to Consider
The following tips will help your employees in choosing the right safety gloves:
- Measure your hand circumference around the palm or at the base of the fingers. The number of centimetres will determine your size.
#2 Continuous Wear
- Thin, disposable gloves allow for closer, detailed work that requires the use of your fingertips.
- Thin gloves with natural rubber, nitrile, PVC or polyurethane are not as cut-resistant as other gloves, but they are easier to work in and are better for a variety of small-scale jobs.
#3 Oily Grip
- Wear sponge or foam-coated gloves that allow you to have a solid grip on slippery objects. The oil penetrates these types of gloves, making objects easier to hold. This prevents you from dropping objects that could cause injury to hands or other body parts.
#4. Cut resistance
- Gloves that offer sponge nitrile coatings with a cut-resistant liner of yarns such as Kevlar or high-performance polyethene offer both oily grip and cut resistance. These gloves are perfect for sheet metal or other materials that present multiple hazards.
- Some gloves have stainless steel or fibreglass yarn for higher cut resistance. However, no glove protects against serrated or moving blades.
- Wear cotton or leather gloves, preferably with coating, when handling abrasive or heavy objects. Gloves coated with NRL, PVC, nitrile, neoprene, and polyurethane outwear normal cotton and leather gloves by two to 10 times.
- Gloves with coating offer the least amount of dexterity, so choose a pair with lighter-weight coatings, palm-coating or flat-dipped gloves.
#6. Chemical resistance
- When handling Portland cement, wear chemical-resistant gloves that are fully coated with chemical-resistant polymers such as nitrile, neoprene or PVC, which protect from hexavalent chromium.
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