The construction and oil field industries are rough on the hands, yet hands are essential to those jobs. Continuous vibration and impact, such as from pneumatic machinery, can lead to debilitating injuries, which cost employees and employers time and money. To help avoid these losses, impact safety gloves are an important piece of protection equipment.
Hazards at the Work Site
As many as half of all recorded industrial injuries are related to the hands and fingers. Anyone who regularly uses handheld power tools, such as hammer drills or jackhammers, is at risk for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). This is a preventable syndrome but is irreversible once the damage is done. Constant vibration can cause damage to the blood vessels, nerves, and joints of the hand, wrist, and arm and result in permanent numbness and loss of dexterity. The warning signs of HAVS include numbness or tingling in the fingers, loss of hand strength, and painful, pale fingers. Cold, wet conditions may aggravate HAVS, which tends to quietly develop over several years. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another serious condition that affects industrial workers, and it can lead to a need for surgery. More directly, hands are highly prone to cuts and crushing injuries.
Consequences of Hand Injury
Those who are employed in the construction trades and oil industries cannot work without their hands, so hand-related injuries may result in the loss of experienced employees and the end of a worker’s career. New, inexperienced workers are even more at risk for accidents. If employees are disabled, they will be at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives, and employers may well be required to provide financial compensation, especially if the employee sues. Injuries also look bad on a company’s record and lower morale.
Impact Safety Gloves for Preventing Hand Injuries
Impact safety gloves provide a layer of shock absorbing material, which protects hands and fingers from vibration and crushing injuries. These types of gloves are often made of a combination of materials, such as thermal plastic rubber and leather, to provide protection without sacrificing dexterity. Extra material, called bumpers, is often added to the knuckles and fingers to protect against pinching and impact. Padding may be added to the palm to help absorb impacts and shock. Ideal impact safety gloves come in bright colors, to aid visibility, and are water resistant with breathable fabric and textured areas to improve grip. Choosing the right glove size is imperative to a secure and comfortable fit, and can be achieved by measuring the hand with a flexible tape measure.
Adjustable wrist closures help ensure that no loose material is left hanging out, and a safety cuff allows the glove to be pulled off if caught in moving machinery, rather than pulling the hand in with it.
Hand injuries may cost thousands of dollars to both companies and individuals, so it pays to use protection. Impact safety gloves are an essential investment that make jobs safer so that employees can complete their work efficiently and go home healthy.