Are your Hand Injuries Rising with the Temperatures?

Injuries occur when workers remove their PPE and being “uncomfortable” is the number one reason cited for removing PPE. During the warmer months, higher temperatures present a huge obstacle to keeping your workers’ hands protected. Safe behaviour is more likely to fall by the wayside as workers take their gloves off to gain relief from trapped heat in their gloves and the discomfort it causes including sweaty hands and irritated skin.

As PPE is the last resort for protection, the temptation to remove it and continue working if it is causing thermal discomfort must always be discouraged. However, wearing some PPE in hot conditions does increase the risk of heat stress so other options to reduce overheating should be explored.

Do you see an increase in injuries? Do your workers suffer from contact dermatitis, trapped heat and sweating, a few of the growing challenges during the summer months? Do their hands swell in the heat and suffer increased chafing on gloves? Here are some pointers for providing heat relief for your worker’s hands:

Remove sweat quickly

Sweating is an important aspect of keeping cool, but not when sweat is trapped inside a glove. Introducing breathable, seamless, antibacterial gloves helps to speed up sweat evaporation, keeping hands and arms free of sweat and your employees comfortable. In particular, moisture wicking liners pull moisture away from the hand in the same way that candles draw wax up the wick to the flame.

Overcome contact dermatitis

268,000 working days are lost in Britain because of skin problems caused by working conditions. In fact, occupational skin disorders are the second most common work-related health problem in Europe according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

Contact dermatitis is a concern for glove wearers whatever the weather, but adding sweat can make the problem more severe. When hands are saturated with moisture or sweat, the skin tends to break more easily and the dreaded itchiness and rash appears. Using the latest glove technology and materials, you should be able to give your wearers breathable protection even in the most challenging of environments.

Anchor Safety advise use of a barrier cream

Using a barrier cream before donning your gloves can significantly reduce the effect of moisture build-up and any consequential chafing of hands. Take a look at our expert insight into Occupational Skincare for more information on how barrier cream can help prevent occupational dermatitis. [Read post here]

Keep injuries down with a Hand Protection Programme

A well-crafted Hand Protection Programme should help reduce or even eliminate instances of contact dermatitis, trapped heat and skin sweating. It will tackle these types of challenges simultaneously, regardless of the season. It will also eliminate the behaviour of removing gloves to relieve the discomfort, which increases injuries significantly.  

Every Hand Protection Programme should be designed based on an understanding of the hazards in your workplace. It's easier to stick with the gloves you know, but the right partner can work with you to design your complete hand protection programme so that workers keep their gloves on and prevent injuries or near misses.

If you choose to make some changes to your glove provision, the right expertise is vital. Speak to one of the experts at Anchor Safety to discuss your needs and how to change gloves without compromising on protection.

The Stalsen gloves shown above are not only lightweight and offer ‘bare hand’ comfort, but are also created to be breathable, so reducing moisture build up and its associated problems. With no compromise to their protective qualities, these are the ideal alternatives to heavier gloves in the warmer months.

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