The hands, especially the palms of a worker are the most exposed part of his or her body. As such, protection of them is of paramount importance, especially when the job has some hazards. A worker’s hands are exposed to various kinds of hazards like cuts, burns, pinches, chemical burns, frostbite, and many more injuries.
For this reason, it is vitally important that an industrial worker, and even amateurs use protective gloves. For example, leather construction gloves can protect a construction worker’s hands from exposure to cement, chafing, and hurting otherwise.
Norms of Safety Gloves
First of all, all safety gloves worth their salt should be marked with the “CE” sign on every piece. It should be clearly legible, and resistant to tarnishing. Also, there should be a declaration of conformity with the sign and what it means.
In some cases where the gloves cannot have any marks, the retail package of each pair of gloves must have these signs and declaration.
Each and every safety glove needs to conform to some basic rules of safety and quality standards. Furthermore, the following should accompany the gloves:
- Name, complete address, logo or other signs identifying the manufacturer
- Glove symbol or code
- Size and size chart
- Expiry date, if applicable
- Graphic sign indicating risk category
- Reference to relevant norm on the glove or its packaging
There are some basic rules and regulations that every safety glove like leather construction gloves should adhere to. These regulations and standards can be found in the region’s safety code directives. For example, the European regulations can be found in European EN 420 norms. Specifically, they should comply with rules as described in 89/656/EWG directive, repealed with effect from April 21, 2018, by Regulation (EU) 2016/425.
Duties of the Employer
The employer must provide the workers with safety gloves appropriate to the work conditions, for as long as the work is ongoing. The safety kits the employer provides must comply with the local regulations about the gloves’ construction, design, testing, as well as their water resistance, infallibility and ease of use of the used materials, along with efficiency of signage and information provided by the manufacturer.
The employer is responsible for providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to each and every employee working in a potentially hazardous situation. In particular, these responsibilities are listed below.
- Providing PPEs to every employee who needs it.
- Responsible for the cost and any additional charges of the PPEs.
- Risk assessment for the work of the employees to figure out what kind of safety equipment they need. Consider the risk of the nature of the work, hazardous materials present at site or used in work, for how long the worker shall be exposed to those, and the environmental conditions of the site while doing the risk assessment.
- Selecting the right type of PPE for the task of the employee. For example, the employer must provide leather construction gloves and heavy boots if the task of the employee is construction work.
- Plan out proper methods of where, when, and for how long the PPEs should be used by the workers. This should be done according to the risk assessment of the work type and environment.
- Providing proper training to employees about how to rightly and effectively use the PPEs.
- Figuring out proper storage and cleaning facilities for the PPE kits.
- Planning out proper and regular maintenance and logs for handling the safety gloves and other safety equipment.
Furthermore, both the employer and the employee should obey the usage rules and regulations as described in the user manuals of the safety equipment. To that end, the user manual and other information about the safety gloves provided by the manufacturer should be stored in an easily accessible area. Also, there should be at least one expert person present on site at all work times who can help out with the safety equipment usage as needed.
You should also document, store and analyze every incident report involving the safety gloves. This will help in figuring out how effective the safety equipment is and if any improvement is needed.