Hands-On Safety: The Importance of Hand and Arm Protection

DF SafetyWorkplace Safety

Protecting yourself and your employees is of the utmost importance when running a business. Previously, we discussed the use of proper hearing protection and eye protection, and today we’ll go over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hand and arm protection. PPE for these extremities is vital in workplaces with potential hazards that could cause incident or injury. 

PPE helps prevent cuts and abrasions 

Hands and arms are especially vulnerable to cuts and abrasions in work environments like construction sites, manufacturing factories, and laboratories. Gloves and arm sleeves help serve as a barrier to prevent cuts, scrapes and other injuries that can be caused from sharp objects, surfaces, or machinery.  

Protects against chemical exposure 

When working with chemicals, acids, and other harmful and hazardous substances, chemical-resistant gloves and long sleeves will shield the skin from contact or chemical burns. Exposure to hazardous chemicals can lead to long-term health problems

Prevents burns 

Exposure to hazards like extreme heat, flames and hot surfaces increases the risk of burns to the hands and arms. Heat-resistant gloves and clothing provide protection to help prevent these types of injuries should someone encounter hot objects or surfaces. 

Maintains hygiene and infection control 

Wearing gloves can help prevent the spread of harmful and infectious diseases, germs, or contaminants. Wearing proper hand protection protects workers and keeps surfaces clean. Maintaining a sterile area and preventing cross contamination is imperative for everyone. 

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety outlines the following tips to keep in mind regarding PPE for hands and arms: 

  • Choose the hand protection that is appropriate for the specific job. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the care, decontamination, and maintenance of gloves. 
  • Some materials may cause reactions, such as allergies to latex, so offer alternatives where possible. 
  • Ensure gloves fit properly. 
  • Make sure gloves cover all exposed skin. Gloves should be long enough so that there is no gap between the glove and sleeve. 
  • Do not wear gloves with metal parts near electrical equipment. 
  • Do not use worn or torn gloves. 
  • Inspect and test gloves for defects before using. 
  • Test all rubber or synthetic gloves for pin holes or leaks by inflating them. 
  • Know how to remove and either clean or dispose of used gloves. 
     

It is important to follow all occupational safety standards and regulations regarding PPE. The well-being of your workers and providing a safe environment for everyone is imperative to maintaining your business reputation and safety standards.  

DF Safety offers a PPE Hand Protection online course, which provides workers with high-level knowledge and skills regarding hand PPE, as commonly required by regulatory agencies. 

If you would like to speak more about safety in your workplace, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today, and let’s get started.