Hand Protection

Hand protection:

Introduction:

Hand protection is saving one’s hands from any sort of injury at work. Hands are vital tools of human being and therefore most vulnerable to injuries as well. Very often, hands are exposed to hazardous conditions such as sharp edges, pinch points, rotary machinery, hot objects, electricity, splinters and chemicals etc. If hands are not protected and get injured, they will last for lifetime.


Hand Protection Gloves and the Law :

Specialist gloves can offer protection against many harmful substances and hazards, we well as ensuring that employers are compliant with legal requirements.

Across many industries and operations, workers are required to use their hands and this involves a level of potential risk which should always be considered by employers prior to any task being undertaken.

There are many factors an employer should consider when purchasing PPE gloves, with the main ones being:

  • Which substances will be handled
  • What hazards are likely to be encountered
  • The type and duration of contact the gloves will need to withstand
  • Who will be wearing the gloves - including their size and any personal requirements
  • The job at hand, and any task-specific needs

Once you are clear on your specific requirements, take a look at our range of protective gloves to find exactly what suits your needs. 


Regulations and Standards for Hand Protection:

When it comes to PPE hand protection, the legislation and standards you need to be aware of are as follows:

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) - These regulations state that employers have a responsibility to protect workers from exposure to substances which could be hazardous to their health.
  • Personal Protection Equipment Regulations (2002) - Under these regulations, PPE equipment must be fit for purpose and properly stored and maintained. Employees must also be properly instructed on how to use it. 
  • EN 420 - This is a European standard which lays out the general requirements which need to be met for PPE gloves to be fit for purpose. At Protec, all of our work gloves meet the EN 420 standards.

Common types of hand injuries include the following:

Traumatic injury occurs when hands and fingers get caught, pinched or crushed in chains, wheels, rollers, or gears of various machinery and get cuts to the skin, tendons, blood vessels and nerves, skin punctures, pricks, abrasion, irritation, bones fractures and sprains.

Contact or permeation injury occurs when our hands get contact with corrosive liquids, solvents, acids, detergents, flammable liquids and other substances and permeated through the skin. This can cause chemical burns or injure tissues, skin irritations, allergic dermatitis, major organ damage, carcinogenic effects etc.

Repetitive motion injury occurs when jobs require repeated, rapid hand movements for long period of time. Most of these injuries are musculoskeletal disorders.

Thermal injury occurs due to high temperatures of the equipment or fire while handling hot parts, thermoplastics molds, welding-cutting, foundry works, thermoforming, removing food from ovens etc. Thermal injury occurs in the form of burns, dermatitis, frostbite and blisters etc.

To protect our hands against these injuries we should do the following:

  • Perform out risk assessment.
  • Follow user manual and product labels.
  • Use appropriate gloves (type, size and shape) and PPEs or barrier cream.
  • Avoid using finger rings and ornaments such as bracelets or watches.
  • Change grips, hand positions or motions. Give hands a rest.
  • Use machine guards and safety devices etc at all the times.
  • Lockout and switch off equipment and machines those are not in use.
  • Wash hands when in contact with corrosive chemicals or as appropriate.

General Requirements:

Hand and arm protection must be selected and used when personnel may be exposed to certain hazards, such as:

  • Work with harmful substances, dry or liquid, that can be absorbed through the skin, or that can cause skin irritation, chemical burns, or similar conditions. Examples would include strong acids/bases, toxic or corrosive materials, organic solvents, and radioactive materials.
  • Work with tools, equipment, or materials that can cause cuts, lacerations, punctures, fractures, amputations, or abrasions.
  • Work where the employee is exposed to materials or agents that can cause thermal burns or that expose the employee to harmful temperatures.
  • Work that may expose employees to blood or other potentially infectious agents.
  • Work on live electrical systems or components. Additional training is required for the use of electrical protective equipment.

The best place to start when selecting gloves for a task is to compare the exposure hazards to the protective qualities of the gloves available from your supplier. Many tasks will involve multiple hazards, and the glove selected should either protect against all of the hazards, or more than one type of glove may have to be worn. A common example of this is when leather gloves (cut/puncture/abrasion resistant) are worn over voltage-rated rubber gloves. Certain chemical and/or radiation hazards may require double gloving (of the same type).


Potential Hazards:

Injuries and illnesses such as:

  • Skin absorption of harmful substances
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Punctures
  • Nerve or tendon damage caused by exposure to vibration
  • Chemical burns
  • Thermal burns
  • Heat stress, frostbite, and hypothermia due to harmful temperature extremes
  • Shocks and burns from electricity

Note: Improper selection of gloves may give workers a false sense of security since chemicals may penetrate the "protection" without it showing any signs of failure.

If you work in an industry which exposes workers to the above hazards, or other dangers, it’s vital to make sure they are properly protected with the right PPE gloves. It is important to note, however, that no glove material will protect against all substances, and gloves will often require replacement in line with manufacturer recommendations.

Types of PPE Gloves : 

A wide range of hand and sleeve protection, providing the highest level of safety and security. In addition, all minimal risk work gloves conform to EN 420 (General Requirements for Gloves) and are CE marked, for your peace of mind.

A wide range of PPE gloves are available, including:

  • Anti-vibration gloves
  • Builders grip gloves
  • Cut resistant gloves
  • Disposable gloves
  • General handling gloves
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Leather gloves
  • Nitrile coated gloves
  • PU coated gloves
  • Rigger gloves
  • Protective sleeves
  • Thermal grip gloves

Typical applications for our PPE gloves include medical, building, construction and trade specific requirements.


There are several categories of gloves.

Disposable gloves:

Perfect for one-time use situations. Thin for improved sensitivity and dexterity. Provides wearer protection against materials, or protects the material from the handler. Available in a variety of materials and for a variety of tasks.

Critical-environment gloves:

Used in applications that require extreme cleanliness, such as in the electronic, nuclear, and pharmaceutical industries.

Chemical-resistant gloves:

Protects against specified chemicals and liquids, also protects against abrasion, cuts, punctures, and snags. Generally, any "chemical-resistant" glove can be used for dry powders. (See additional information provided later in this section.)

General-purpose gloves:

Intended to help reduce hand injuries from snags, punctures, abrasions, and cuts.

Coated gloves :

Nitrile and natural rubber coated gloves are often used as substitutes for leather gloves. They offer superior hand protection in wet environments where dexterity is important.

Cut-resistant gloves:

Available in a wide variety of materials, including metal-mesh, Kevlar, aluminized, etc. Protects against cuts and scrapes in the food industry, as well as general warehousing.

Puncture-resistant gloves:

Available in a wide variety of materials. Puncture-resistant gloves protect against most sharp objects, including glass, metal, and needle sticks. No glove is completely puncture-proof, nor can gloves be expected to take the place of proper engineering or work practice controls.

Anti-vibration/impact gloves:

Protection from vibration or impact from tools and equipment. Helps prevent hand, finger, and arm fatigue.

Leather gloves:

Qualities of leather include comfort, durability, dexterity, mild heat resistance, and abrasion resistance. Good all-purpose glove.

Temperature-resistance gloves:

Provides protection from high temperatures as well as cold. Leather, Kevlar, cotton terrycloth, cryogenic gloves, rubber, Nomex, Zetex, and Flextra are some common materials used in this type of glove. Includes welding gloves.

Voltage-rated gloves:

Protection against shock hazards. To assure adequate electrical protection, choose the properly rated insulated gloves and protectors for your application. Additional training from EHS is required.