Construction work gloves protect the fingers and hands from a wide range of on-site injuries, from cuts and abrasions to chemical exposure and electrical shock. Hand injuries send over a million workers to the ER annually, and only back strains and sprains account for more days away from work. Construction gloves are not optional: they’re essential PPE.
One cause of hand injuries stands out from all others: noncompliance. Seventy percent of hand injuries are sustained by workers who choose not to wear gloves.
Employees’ reasons for not wearing safety gloves include not having access to the appropriate type of glove not having gloves that fit properly, and concerns that the task at hand cannot be completed successfully while wearing gloves.
Wearing gloves reduces the risk of hand injury by sixty percent, but as the above makes clear, workers will not wear gloves unless they fit well and allow for a full range of motion. Taking the time to ensure a proper glove fit can mean the difference between hand injuries and safely performing tasks.
The diverse nature of work means that no one type of gloves protects worker hands from all threats. Instead, it’s important to choose gloves based on the task the employee will perform. This often means workers will have more than one pair of gloves in their tool bag, so they always have access to appropriate protection.
A well-fit glove should fit snugly while allowing for a full range of hand motion. When worn over the length of a full workday, an ill-fitted glove can cause hand cramps and blisters, increasing the risk the employee will simply remove the gloves. Proper fit also improves safety: thirty percent of hand injuries where gloves are worn result from improperly fitted gloves.
When considering comfort, remember that while outside seams are more comfortable, they wear out faster than inside seams, which are more likely to irritate the skin. Seams across the back of the glove provide a better fit, while seams across the palm provide more comfort.
Like any type of construction safety equipment, construction gloves must be worn and used correctly. Fewer hand injuries mean less medical expenses, time off work, and loss of productivity, so don’t skimp on your construction work gloves — your employees need their hands.