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Hand Protection On A Construction Job

I’m Ron Wittmeyer, and today, we’re going to talk about how to protect your hands on a construction site. OSHA requires that employers provide their employees with personal protective equipment, which includes safety gloves. Employers must provide the PPE, as it’s called, and pay for it.

Choosing the right gloves

However, it can actually be challenging to make sure you have the right gloves to protect you on the job. Here are some factors that are involved in choosing the right gloves. If you’ll be handling chemicals, what are the specific types of chemicals? Also, are you simply coming in contact with those chemicals? Or are you immersing your hands into the chemicals?

What kind of grip requirements does your job have? Some gloves have very good grip resistance and others do not. Do you need heat protection? Are you exposed to different abrasion types of hazards? And then, of course, there’s the size and the comfort of the gloves. After all, you need to be able to do your job with the gloves on.

Types of safety gloves

There are four types or groups of safety gloves and they protect against different types of exposures or different hazards.

The first group includes leather, canvas, or metal mesh gloves. These are designed to protect against abrasions and cuts.

In the second group, there are fabric or plastic coated fabric gloves. Those are designed to protect against abrasions.

The third type of gloves has a plastic coating on the inside, around the hand part of the glove. That’s designed to give you extra grip strength.

Chemical-resistant gloves

The fourth group includes gloves that are resistant to chemicals as well as insulating rubber gloves. The chemical-resistant gloves are made out of a variety of substances like neoprene, latex, butyl, and nitrile. And they each perform a little differently.

You’ll need to look at the manufacturer’s recommendations on what each particular glove is designed to protect against. You’ll also find out what it may not protect so well against, or even not at all.

OSHA also has a chart from the Department of Energy that lists those four types of plastic or rubber-type gloves and how well they perform in protecting your hands against various types of chemicals.

Proper care and maintenance

Another thing that’s very important with safety gloves is their proper care and maintenance because they can become damaged. If they’re torn or punctured, they will no longer provide the protection that you need.

A way to check those rubber-type gloves to see if they’ve been punctured is to fill them with water, take the open end and roll it toward the fingers. That way, you’ll be able to see whether there are any pinhole sized punctures in that glove.

If there are, discard the glove and get some new ones because you need those gloves to protect you against the chemicals you’re dealing with. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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