If a single piece of paper can leave your finger wrapped in a bright red bandage, imagine what a drill, saw blade, or hammer can do. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for establishing a series of guidelines to help keep employees safe in the workplace. On a construction site, this can be easier said than done.
In part one of this four-part series, our OSHA attorneys reviewed some basic principles of the OSHA guidelines governing hand and arm personal protective equipment (PPE). In part two, we will continue to expand on this foundational knowledge of OSHA compliance by examining different types of protective gloves.
Choosing Protective Gloves
Today, there are numerous options for protecting workers’ hands and arms against a wide breadth of hazards. Choosing the right type of protective gloves depends on the operator’s task on the project site. Wearing the wrong PPE can inhibit movement and compromise safety, which is the polar opposite of its intended purpose. Educating your employees on how to choose the correct PPE is vital to minimizing risk on your project sites. According to OSHA, some factors that can affect your PPE selection include:
- Type of chemicals handled
- Nature of contact (total immersion, splash, etc.)
- Duration of contact
- Area requiring protection (hand only, forearm, arm)
- Grip requirements (dry, wet, oily)
- Thermal protection
- Size and comfort
- Abrasion/resistance requirements
Materials for Protective Gloves
Gloves are designed in a variety of styles using different materials to ensure that workers are protected from the hazards that pose the greatest threat during a specific task. Typically, gloves are classified into four material categories:
- Leather, canvas, or metal mesh gloves
- Fabric and coated fabric gloves
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Insulating rubber gloves
In parts three and four, we will thoroughly examine the different types of protective gloves and the tasks they are best suited for. Remember, the best way to ensure that your team is OSHA-compliant is by consulting a skilled OSHA attorney to perform an internal audit of your project.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.