Personal Protective Equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, is equipment worn by a worker to minimize exposure to serious workplace injuries and even illness. PPE can include safety glasses, gloves, shoes, hats, earplugs, coveralls, or full body suits. Often at the bottom of the PPE checklist is gloves but selecting the correct glove is similar to picking the right tool for the job. Often times the “one size fits all” or “one glove for many tasks” is a mistake the worker pays for with an injury and potentially lost time in the field. There are many types of gloves for different applications. The nature of the hazard should dictate the type of glove used. OSHA provides a very useful resources on PPE as it relates to hand protection at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.pdf.
“Gloves should fit snugly. Workers should wear the right gloves for the job” (examples: heavy-duty rubber gloves for concrete work; welding gloves for welding; insulated gloves and sleeves when exposed to electrical hazards).
Cut resistant gloves:
The most popular glove being worn by electricians these days is the cut resistant glove. This type of glove is designed to protect the worker’s hands while working with sharp tools or objects. There are many types, fits, and grades so make sure you are getting what you pay for when purchasing cut resistant gloves.
Lost time, lost money:
Hand injuries can cost employees many days of lost time and lost time means lost revenue for companies that employ them. To ensure that you are picking the right glove for the right job, consult with a reputable vendor or distributor.
Lastly and often overlooked, PPE gloves should be inspected before each use to ensure that they are not damaged. A quick visual check will help determine obvious cuts and tears.
For more on worker safety, visit the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3252/3252.html
Written By: Tony Papasedero, Tool Division Manager. Tony is an expert in tool trends and technology.