Protecting People Series – Hands
Protecting people’s hands and ensuring they have the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support their daily work routines, is a key part of the consultancy approach Eurosafe Group members take with their wide and diverse range of customers .
By having close working relationships with our PPE supply chain partners, we are also able to call on expert support to assist customers looking to protect people from specific hazards at work.
With hundreds of thousands of individuals performing operations that require some form of manual handling across a variety of sectors including industrial, construction, utilities and food processing, preventing injury is only one part of the equation. This is why we recommend regular reviews of PPE, that take into account both environmental and job task specific protection needs.
In the case of hand protection our six key steps include:
- Identifying the job tasks and applications where hand protection is needed
- Assessing the risk for each task
- Examining the current hand protection offered
- Investigating the alternative products available
- Eliminating the risks where reasonably practicable
- Testing and validating the protection and dexterity benefits of different products
Identify, Assess, Examine, Investigate and Test
By carrying out a comprehensive glove survey across all of the operations that involve manual handling, you can identify two key factors.
The first and most important, is understanding the risks, such as cuts from sharp objects, that operatives face. The second is to understand the impact of equipment or substances involved in the process, including oils or lubricants and how they affect the performance or health and safety of the individual.
By working in collaboration with a Eurosafe Group member and its CONNECT PPE expert suppliers, in this case hand protection specialist Globus, once you have identified and assessed the hazards, you can then examine how current PPE and in this case gloves, are performing by task. It is important at this stage to involve those needing gloves, to learn what challenges they face with the current products.
Once this process is complete, you will have a much bigger holistic picture of hand protection needs. This is where the Eurosafe Group’s access to expert advice, can help with the selection of products to offer additional protection and/or dexterity benefits to operatives. By testing different types and sizes of products, a distilled product suite can be agreed upon and rolled out across the business, complete with a Globus educational package, stock management and individually tailored PPE options.
Productivity, sustainability and cost benefits go hand in hand
For Chris Ross, MD of Eurosafe Group member J & K Ross Ltd, hand protection is one area of PPE that can really have a positive impact on productivity and sustainability, without costing the earth.
“There are many different types of glove available, offering a range of protection against a wide variety of hazards. But because of this, choosing the right product is often based on trial and error, with cost also being a factor. Another key issue for most businesses is stock management and how to get the right fit for each employee.
“So, what is quite common is a move to a ‘what is the single best fit across the board’ approach. This ultimately leads to compromise and a decision that is then based on a commodity approach of pence per product, rather than decisions based on enhancing both protection and productivity, often for the same cost. “Equally, when you are using products that are either not fit for purpose or of poor quality, the knock-on effect can be very damaging.
If people don’t wear the hand protection provided, because it makes their job harder, they are much more likely to be injured. Similarly, if poor quality products are used, they will be damaged more often, potentially causing additional hazards to the wearer.
“However, probably the most common issue is wastage. This relates to wrongly specified products not lasting as long as the correctly- specified glove. This is mainly due to contamination and abrasion damage, or a combination of both, which can lead to gloves being thrown away, instead of being reused.
“This impacts both the overall cost of providing hand protection and also has an impact on the overall environmental and sustainability impact of PPE use.”
Stanley Engineered Fastening enhance hand protection following a Globus glove survey
The Warrington manufacturing facility of Stanley Engineered Fastening, has worked with Eurosafe Group member J & K Ross Ltd for over 20 years, developing its health and safety strategy, whilst ensuring the business has all of the PPE it requires.
The Warrington facility makes fastenings for a whole range of industries, including aerospace, construction, medical and electronics. As part of its production processes, it uses metal fabrication machinery and a wide variety of tooling. To create its products, the manufacturing facility has to use oil based lubricants, with three different types used across its processes. Dealing with small metal fastenings also requires cut protection.
As part of a PPE review, the business recently collaborated in a project with J & K Ross Ltd and Eurosafe specialist hand protection supplier Globus, to conduct a glove survey across its production, manufacturing and engineering processes onsite. The results of the survey saw the business set up a completely new approach to hand protection, as Stanley Engineered Fastening EHS Manager (UK), Kevin Lewis explained.
Kevin: “Our Warrington facility provides a wide and varied range of fastenings across some of the most demanding industries in the world. So, it’s important that we can deliver these products in a timely and safe manner. As part of our ongoing process to improve health and safety onsite, we worked with our long-term PPE supplier, J & K Ross Ltd to assess the PPE we were using and how it is stocked and distributed.
“As part of this process, J & K Ross Ltd suggested we conduct a review of our hand protection and introduced us to Eurosafe Group specialist supplier Globus, who visited the site and proposed carrying out one of its in-depth glove surveys.
Addressing hand protection across the business
Kevin “The Globus glove survey involved looking into each one of our processes onsite from raw material intake to manufacturing, packaging and dispatch. The Globus team looked at each task performed per operative, assessing the hand protection needs required, whilst considering the dexterity needed to optimise the performance of each task.
“The survey also took into account the current hand protection used onsite, which consisted of a standardised rigger glove, investigating the cut and lack of oil protection this glove offered. As part of the survey, a selection of gloves was then suggested for trial across different applications.
“A full range of sizes were made available, with each operative able to test relevant gloves for oil and cut resistance, as well as dexterity, which is important when it comes to the handling of our products, which can be very small.
“Following the rigorous testing, we distilled the selection of gloves into a suite of three, that we are now stocking in all of the relevant sizes using a new crib master dispensing solution, which is supplied by and links directly to the J & K Ross Ltd team. With each employee given their own identity card, linked to their glove and PPE requirements, the business now knows that everyone, including visitors have the right PPE.”
Globus – The perfect fit delivers the best benefits
Globus glove specialist, Nick Green was responsible for carrying out the glove survey at Stanley Engineered Fastening, that led to a new suite of hand protection being used.
Nick explained: “ “The real benefits of the Globus glove survey come from the experience of our team, who get insights from working with and visiting businesses across the whole of the UK and Ireland. It is this understanding of different manual handling tasks, that allows us to focus on the needs of each individual to get the perfect product fit, which in-turn helps us to realise the cumulative benefits for the business.
“The recent survey carried out with Stanley Engineered Fastening was a great example of how the Globus approach can change the way a business delivers effective hand protection.”
Globus gloves suite at a glance:
A lightweight reusable palm-coated flat nitrile glove, which is used as the main day to day operative hand protection across the business, as its features make it:
- Ideal for protecting hands against fluids such as oils and greases
- Perfect for picking up small components, thanks to its ability to maintain high levels of finger dexterity
- Reusable, due to its robust and hard- wearing design.
A flexible fully coated reusable glove that protects the hand and part of the forearm. This product is now used for specific applications that combine the use of oils and the need for cut resistance as its features offer:
- Effective protection against cuts
- Good levels of durability allowing for washing and reuse
- A premium PVC coating that seals and protects the hand against oils and chemicals, while remaining
A high performance, powder-free, single nitrile disposable glove used by operatives for specific tasks that involve oils and greases like changing over machine tools. Its features offer:
- Resistance to oils, greases and many chemicals.
- A cost effective solution for single use high dexterity applications
Case Study – Employee feedback and productivity benefits
Stanley Engineered Fastening EHS Manager (UK), Kevin Lewis: “Before we even carried out the survey, we asked for feedback from our staff and engaged with them to explain the structure of how the survey would work
This was important, as we wanted individuals to share their experiences and think about how hand protection was helping or hindering the tasks they had to perform.
“I was really pleased with the initial reaction and subsequent involvement from the workforce, which numbers over 300 individuals, as they recognised the aims of the survey were to evaluate and test solutions that could potentially make their job easier. Having now introduced the new glove suite and Crib Master vending solution, we have undertaken further analysis, which shows a dramatic drop in glove wastage, proving that the right products are able to be reused, numerous times.
“In addition, we have seen much improved dexterity, thanks to the better fit and protection offered by the gloves. This in-turn has delivered productivity benefits across the board, which is an added benefit.”
Stocked up with the right PPE solution for all
Chris Ross, MD of Eurosafe Member J & K Ross Ltd: “Ensuring employees and site visitors have the right PPE to hand is essential when it comes to effectively managing the health and safety of individuals onsite. There are numerous approaches our customers use to achieve this, with Stanley Engineered Fastening recently opting for a Crib Master vending solution.
“Crib Master is a connected vending solution that uses touch screen technology to identify and dispense small items of PPE, like gloves, glasses and high visibility vests. Using RFID enabled identity cards and an in-built reader, the solution recognises each employee, with their preferred PPE displayed on the LCD touch screen. Individuals can also reach the full suite of PPE available if different products are required, this is especially relevant to visitors onsite, who are issued with their own card for the day.
“Once the individual has used the touch screen to dispense a product, this information is sent directly to our team, enabling us to add the item into our stock renewal site run. Our team are then able to refill the single, or in the case of Stanley, multiple units onsite. With full records of each item dispensed available in a report, customers can see exactly what PPE they are using and the costs associated with them.”