Polyco’s guide to choosing the correct hand protection
The waste and recycling industry is one of the most dangerous environments to work in, as the recent mid-year statistics from the Health and Safety Executive confirm. In 2010/11 there were 9 fatal injuries1 and 350 major injuries reported in 2009/10 in the UK2. Although the number of accidents in the waste and recycling industry has fallen, the accident rate is still four times higher than the national average and twice as high as the rate reported by the high risk manufacturing and construction industries.3 For those who work in the waste and recycling industry, the potential danger that sharp objects, needles and other contaminates can pose is a concern that has to be faced daily. To protect workers against this threat, it is imperative that the correct safety equipment is provided, including protective gloves.
Sarah Bridge, Deputy Managing Director at Polyco comments: “Although hand injuries are not usually fatal, many do not consider the devastating effects that they can have on an individual. A puncture wound from an infected needle or an amputation can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and can restrict them from carrying out everyday tasks and even earning a living - something as simple as wearing appropriate hand protection can make a huge difference to your life.”
Assess the risks
There is an abundance of safety gloves on the market that offer protection against a variety of different hazards, it is therefore important to make sure that the correct form of hand protection is selected for the right hazard. A hand protection assessment survey can help by identifying a worker’s safety needs and providing information about the hazards and risks that will be encountered when working in different environments. A product trial is then recommended, this can be an effective way of including employees in the selection of hand protection and a subsequent survey collating worker’s feedback can be obtained. The information gathered can then be used to establish what type of glove is appropriate and the products each individual employee prefers.
Advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques over the last few years have seen a significant development and improvement in the protection and comfort levels offered by personal protective equipment. Hand protection in particular has benefited from these advancements and the latest products are able to protect a user from a variety of dangerous hazards.
These can include puncture and cut resistance, protection against hot, cold and chemical hazards. Many of these hazards are present in the waste and recycling industry making it imperative that the hand protection provided will protect against the hazards...