Protective gloves can protect construction workers against burns, puncture wounds, scratches and much more. Construction sites contain multiple hazards – from toxic chemicals to power tools. Construction workers need to have access to the appropriate protective equipment to minimise these risks as much as possible.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (2017), a fifth of all non-fatal injuries were caused by handling and lifting items. Construction sites involve moving and cutting materials, fixing things by hand and sometimes working in extreme weather conditions. Over 400,000 days are lost per year due to non-fatal injuries, totalling £0.5 billion. In 2011, 13700 workers were injured at work, and nearly 20% of these injuries were related to handling items.
Different activities require different levels of protection on construction sites. However, with such a large number of hazards, finding the most appropriate PPE can be a challenge. You should opt for the minimum level of protection needed. Your industrial PPE should offer agility and versatility so that your employees can still carry out tasks to the best of their ability.
When choosing protective gloves, you should identify the main risks of the activity and how these risks may damage someone’s hands. For example, there may be a risk of puncture wounds, extreme heat and cold, loss of a finger or minor scrapes. There are three risk categories to consider when looking into protective gloves.
Category one offers protection against the more minor risks with superficial effects—for example, shallow cuts and scrapes to the hands that aren’t fatal or particularly permanently damaging. Many industries, from doctors to oil field riggers, are at risk of abrasion hazards. Depending on the severity of this risk, you can choose from thin disposable gloves to heavy-duty equipment.
Category two protects against medium to severe risks, which may pose disabling accident risk. For more severe risks, it’s best to opt for cut-resistant gloves, which are a little more heavy-duty.
Category three provides gloves for the most complex of uses. These gloves can protect workers against severe and possibly fatal hazards. Usually, these risks will have irreversible effects on the individual’s long-term health. For example, this may include electrical or chemical risks and extreme temperatures. Chemical burns are particularly hazardous, and toxic substances should always be handled carefully.
Invest in chemical and bio-hazard resistance gloves to protect your employees from the most severe of risks. Biohazards can cause infections that spread and leave the individual with life-threatening damage.
Heavy-duty gloves can block these hazards with a thick barrier over your hands. Typically, the most protective gloves are made from latex, PVS, cryogenic-resistant cowhide or Nitrile.
The appropriate PPE can protect individuals from life-altering accidents and ensure your business operates under Health and Safety guidelines.