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Hand Protection Safety Standard

Hand Protection Safety Standard

According to Statistics Canada, the hand is the most frequently injured part of the body while working, and this accounts for up to 28 percent of all work injuries. These injuries range from sprains and strains to cuts and fractures. Hand protection mainly focuses on gloves, but there are other forms of personal protective equipment like finger guards.
OSHA states that over a third of injuries to the hand caused while on the job could have been prevented by wearing the appropriate PPE, safety gloves. However, before picking up your phone to order some safety gloves, there are standards you need to consider.
Hand Protection Safety Standard.
When considering hand protection standards, three specific properties are majorly considered.
Heat protection: This considers protection from burns, scalds etc.
Mechanical protection: This refers to protection from cuts, abrasions, punctures and fractures.
Chemical protection: Spills from harsh chemicals could cause skin degradation on contact.

The North American Standard for hand protection is called the ANSI/ISEA 105-2016. This standard is designed to ensure that gloves are wearable yet protective. These include:

● Gloves must not adversely affect the health and well-being of the user.
● Seams shouldn’t impair performance of the wearer; gloves shouldn’t be too tight or too loose on the hands.
● Substances used in the manufacture of gloves that could potentially cause allergies or harm to the user must be stated on the packaging.

There are different standards for hand protection safety which depend on the injuries the gloves protect you from.

For Cuts, punctures, tears and abrasions: There are different levels of cut protection a glove could provide. When picking out gloves, you should look out for gloves that are from levels A1-A9. Levels A1-A3 protect against scrapes. Levels A4-A6 protect against deep cuts while levels A7-A9 protect against extreme injuries.

For Chemical Injuries: Permeation, Penetration and Degradation Standards are usually considered here. Permeation is the ability of a substance, in this case a chemical, to penetrate through the glove. We have three types of permeation standards for gloves. These are Type A, Type B and Type C. However, ANSI states that “no glove will protect against all substances.” Type A gloves protect against not less than six different types of chemicals for more than thirty minutes. Type B gloves protect against at least three different types of chemicals for thirty minutes while Type C gloves will protect against one chemical for at least 10 minutes.

Penetration Standards refers to the possible leakages in a glove you might choose. The tests are water and air leak-tests. For the water leak test, water is filled on the inside of the glove and the outer part of the glove is checked for leaks. The air-leak test is somewhat similar. The inside of the glove is filled with air at a certain pressure and the glove is immersed into water. The appearance of air bubbles on the surface of the water will show that there is an air leak.

Degradation Standards take into consideration the change in the glove’s physical properties after being exposed to chemicals. There are a variety of degradation tests used for gloves of specific purpose. Visual signs of degradation include physical deterioration, flaking, swelling, hardening or softening.

For Heat Protection: If you’re like me, heat protection standards are one that many of us have little exposure to but it’s equally as important. The required gloves for heat protection vary by profession. There are gloves for welders, healthcare professionals and electricity protection. The gloves should offer protection against flammability, radiant heat, contact heat etc.

In order for you to be certain the glove you’re buying is right for the job, you should take into consideration the accurate depiction of the task you are undertaking. Identify the risks and hazards you will be exposing yourself to during the course of the task. Consider the flexibility of the glove.
Consider permeation rate, penetration and degradation time and properly analyze the risk. The quality of the material and quality control greatly influence these properties.

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