Preventing and eliminating hand injuries may seem impossible but you can implement a few simple procedures to drastically reduce your rate of hand and finger injuries.

Canadians in the workplace have half a million hand and wrist injuries annually according to the Government of Canada.

Hand and arm protection accounts for up to 30% of a companies safety budget.

Between the cost of an injury and the cost of gloves and sleeves, you’re spending way too much money!

The very first thing you need to do to eliminate hand injuries is use the Hierarchy of Controls. The 5 controls, ordered from most-to-least critical for safety, are:

  1. Elimination
  2. Substitution
  3. Engineering Controls
  4. Administrative Controls
  5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The first thing you need to do to eliminate hand injuries is complete an audit of your workplace using the Hierarchy of Controls. We created a step-by-step guide you can follow.

As you complete this audit, you should notice some pretty big opportunities for improving the safety of your workplace.

Even after completing the audit, you’ll notice areas that PPE like hand protection is the only option to keep workers safe. You may also have a legal or company-wide mandate that requires gloves and arm protection.

In those cases, it comes down to finding the right gloves or sleeves:

We can help you do this through our cost-free glove review.

We’ve condensed it down to 5 easy steps, and the best part is, we’ll do most of the hard work!

We also made an infographic version

Step 1. Determine your goals with our glove protection specialists

In this first step, we’re interested in getting to know you and learn what you’re looking to accomplish.

These goals could be as precise as “reducing worker hand injuries by 75% over 3 years” or as simple as “get workers home safe at the end of the day.”

Either way, we’ll work with you to make sure and provide feedback from other glove reviews to find goals that work for your company.

Step 2. Assess your facility’s risk, your glove selection process and interview employees

At this point, you’ll be happy that you completed a facility risk audit using the hierarchy of controls.

We’ll look at the risks that exist in your facility and look at your glove selection.

During this phase, we’re going to be looking at:

  • the type of gloves your staff use
  • if the gloves provide the right amount of protection, and
  • if your staff are wearing the gloves.

To do that last one we’ll need to interview your staff. During the interviews, we also want to know what your staff likes about your current gloves and if they have any concerns about them.

Step 3. Determine areas of success and what can be improved

Now that all the sleuthing is done, we can make recommendations based on the hazards at play and the feedback from your staff.

We’ll also work with any preferred glove manufacturers you may have to find the best option for your needs.

Step 4. Trial new glove options and evaluate changes

Now that we have recommendations in place, we want to know if they’re going to meet your needs.

That means we have to trial them.

We’ll send out a few sample pairs for your staff to trial and evaluation cards to hear their feedback.

If the glove isn’t a success, we go back to the drawing board and find a different option. Otherwise, we have one last thing to do.

Step 5. Educate employees on safe work practices

Gloves have best practices, just like hard hats or fall protection.

We’ll walk you through proper maintenance, laundering and anything else you may need to know about to get the longest life out of your gloves and keep your team safe.

 

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Leslie Molin

Market Segment Manager - Personal Safety

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