Proper glove use is crucial to helping prevent hand injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 70% of workers who experienced hand injuries were not wearing gloves. Many workers who were wearing gloves and sustained injuries were not wearing the proper gloves for the job.
Pinch points bite: a worker installing a hanging door had their fingers pinched between the frame and trolley. Completing a Safe Plan of Action and wearing gloves would have prevented or greatly reduced injury.
Hot slag burns: a welder dropped hot slag into his welding glove and burned his fingers. The proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – by sealing or taping the cuffs of gloves would have prevented injury.
Sharp edges cut: a worker cut his hand while cutting sheet metal and required stitches. Wearing the required cut resistance gloves would have prevented or greatly reduced injury.
STOP – THINK – GO
Stop: step back and review the task. Are guards in place? Are there any pinch points? Jagged edges? Hot or cold surfaces? Chemical hazards? Other risks?
Think: what can go wrong? Is there a safer way? Can I use a tool instead of my hands? Am I wearing the right gloves and PPE? Where will my hands be? Can I see them?
Go: only after you have completed a Safe Plan of Action and all controls are in place to eliminate hazards so that you can complete the task safely. Only after you put on the correct glove for the task along with other PPE. Only after you are positive that you can keep your hands out of the line of fire.
Remember this: wearing the proper gloves on the job and home will help prevent cuts and scrapes, puncture wounds, chemical burns, protect from heat and cold, hazardous substances, biological agents, and electrical shocks and burns.
“Always keep your hands in sight and never let them move faster than your mind can think!”