Toolbox Talk: Hand Protection/General Hazards
Guide for Discussion: OSHA’s standards for hand protection require employers to provide, and employees to use, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves that are designed to help protect workers hands from injuries such as cuts, scrapes, punctures, and heat or cold. So it is vitally important to make certain that the gloves you select for use are adequate to protect against the specific hazards you come across while at work.
Protective gloves are made from a variety of materials, but not all glove materials offer adequate protection from all workplace hazards. Here is an overview of different glove materials and the type of hazards they offer protection against:
- Sturdy gloves made from metal mesh, leather, or canvas can help protect your hands against cuts and burns. Thick leather or canvas gloves also protect against sustained heat.
- Leather gloves also protect against sparks, moderate heat, blows, chips, and rough objects.
- Fabric gloves (like cotton) protect against dirt, slivers, chafing, and abrasions. They do not provide sufficient protection for use with rough, sharp, or heavy materials. Adding a plastic coating will strengthen some fabric gloves.
- Coated fabric gloves offer general-purpose hand protection with slip-resistant qualities. These gloves are used for tasks ranging from handling bricks and wire to chemical laboratory containers.
- Aramid fiber gloves protect against heat and cold, are cut and abrasive-resistant, and wear well.
- Aluminized gloves provide reflective and insulating protection against heat, but require an insert made of synthetic materials to protect against heat and cold.
Of course, no glove will protect your hands if you are not wearing them. Gloves will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Remember, to protect yourself you need to wear the correct gloves for the job you are doing. Inspect your gloves periodically and replace them if they show wear or damage that could prevent them from protecting your hands properly.
Any questions or comments about the right gloves to be used as hand protection on the job?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) works, but only if you wear it!
NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Construct Corps, LLC: Tool Box Talk. Should any question arise that you cannot readily answer please contact our OSHA authorized instructor:
Marcos Caballero: (813) 498-0359 or MCaballero@ConstructCorps.com