Gloves are Not your First Line of Defense
Did you know that the work gloves you wear to protect yourself should not be your first line of defense against cuts and abrasions in the workplace? While protective work gloves should always be work to minimize risk, workplaces should always strive to eliminate as much risk at the source as possible. That means, eliminating or substituting new processes or products. What’s more, is that often times employees do not comply with safety measures and choose not to wear work gloves, which means they are missing out on important protection. Managers should hold regular trainings to remind workers why they need to be consistent in wearing gloves and that gloves should not inhibit their work.
Cut Resistance Levels are Vital, But Not Infallible
If you’ve ever shopped for cut resistant work gloves, you know that each glove is rated on a scale of cut resistance. In North America, we use the ANSI classification system, which was recently revised to include nine levels rather than five. Gloves are classified based on how much pressure they can withstand for a certain amount of time, with the higher numbered levels able to withstand more pressure and are there for better equipped to protect wearers from cuts and abrasions. These levels of classification provide important starting points for when you’re deciding on a work glove for your employees or yourself. They provide a basis for the level of protection you’ll find from the glove.
However, just because a glove has a level 8 or 9 cut resistance rating does not mean that it is 100% cut/abrasion proof. Quite honestly, no glove can claim to be cut-proof, its just not possible. Cut-resistance on the other hand is a more appropriate term. Yes, gloves can resist cuts and abrasions and provide enhanced protection for workers, however, they cannot and should not ever claim to completely eliminate the risk of cuts and abrasions.
It is important to assess your hazard risks, and do all that you can to reduce cut and abrasion risks at the source of the product or process you’re dealing with. And it is important to remember not to use gloves as your first line of defense and depend on them to be a source of impenetrable protection. Be wise as you work, and use the protection available to you to minimize risk of injury.
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- Tags: Cut Resistant Gloves, Hand Protection, PPE, Safety Work Gloves, Work Gloves, Workplace Safety