Myth: A wide range of hand protection is an effective range.
A wide range of hand protection availability offers choice. Providing glove wearers with choice significantly increases the risk of them selecting an inappropriate glove.
Through no fault of their own, they encounter multiple risks a day, from various materials and surfaces to different locations and environments. It is impractical to carry numerous gloves around for every different task and eventuality that comes up in a working day. So, the wearer has to make an informed decision.
Uncovering the flaws
Of course, wearers are likely to think that any glove available in the stores is going to protect them to a certain extent. In any case, human nature will err on the lower side of protection to enhance functionality and comfort. But clearly, selecting a glove with insufficient cut protection will hugely increase the risk of a hand injury at some point when they encounter a cut risk.
However, inversely, if the wearer selects a glove that is going to offer maximum protection, traditionally this would mean a thicker, more cumbersome glove. So, when needing to carry out a task which requires greater dexterity and fingertip precision, or even just to use a phone, they will need to remove their gloves.
At this point in time, no gloves = no protection: the main cause of hand injuries!
Thirdly, with a large range of gloves, it is unlikely that all sizes are stocked for every glove, and as a result, poor sizing and fit can also impact on the functionality and comfort for the wearer.
So, what could a solution look like?
At STALSEN, a concept we endorse is the introduction of a minimum threshold for cut protection on a project or site. This is set at a level in line with the risks on site, although we are now seeing companies set the bar as high as a minimum of Index E. This threshold ensures a consistent base of protection, eliminating any gloves that do offer minimal cut resistance, and ultimately results in a significant reduction in hand injuries. Based on this threshold, the wearers then simply select a suitable glove according to their activity and working environment e.g., wet, dry, specialist etc.
In fact, we can now overcome the challenges with wearers removing their gloves due to cut resistant gloves being too thick and cumbersome. With the latest innovations and technologies, it is possible to have a glove with the feel of a cut level 1 but the performance of a high cut resistance glove. This means that operatives can have ultimate comfort and dexterity without sacrificing protection.
Minimising selection in hand protection is not a disadvantage. It is an opportunity to make a complex choice simple for your wearers, and ultimately deliver our vision to “make hand injuries history”.
For further information or to request advice on implementing an effective hand protection range, please contact us here.