Hand protection should be a priority in construction and other related fields. Unfortunately, not everyone takes as seriously as they should the need for proper hand protection.
Visit a construction job site and you will likely find that gloves are required. But does everyone always wear gloves when they should?
The statistics suggest no, but here’s why everyone involved in the construction industry needs to always wear the right work gloves for the job.
Hand injuries are common and often preventable
Each year, more than 1 million construction workers head to emergency rooms due to hand injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). The bureau also reported that more than 110,000 hand injury cases that result in missed work are reported each year.
The worst part is that 70% of those construction industry hand injuries reported by the BLS happened when a worker wasn’t wearing gloves.
Gloves are worn for a reason: They help protect hands and can sometimes prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.
Construction workers suffer more lacerations than many other industries
If you work in the construction industry, then you are statistically more likely to suffer a laceration on the job.
The risk of suffering a laceration for construction workers is backed up by a study that looked at the cause of injury for construction workers seen at the George Washington University Emergency Department.
In that study, cited in an Occupational Health and Safety article, researchers found that the leading cause of injuries among those construction workers was contact with cutting or piercing objects. These were most often metal pieces, razors, power tools, nails, etc.
Of the emergency room visits, hand and finger injuries accounted for a third.
Other types of common hand injuries in construction
Lacerations from sharp materials aren’t the only worry glove-less laborers risk encountering, according to Occupational Health and Safety.
For instance, chemicals that are found in building materials also pose risks to hands. This has led to the awareness that better glove technology is needed for those who frequently handle those building materials.
Treatment for hand injuries can be expensive
Those hand injuries aren’t cheap to treat, either. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the direct cost of a hand laceration is about $10,000, stitches cost $2,000 (plus indirect cost) and treatment for a severed tendon can cost more than $70,000 when all is said and done.
This is why it is so important to not only take the proper safety precautions while working at the construction job site, but also to wear the right gloves to safely accomplish the job.
Common excuses to not wear gloves
There are many poor excuses given for not wearing gloves. Workers may believe they do not have the right glove for the job they’re doing, they may not have the right glove size or they may believe they lose sensitivity and dexterity while wearing gloves.
There are many more reasons, but none of them are good enough excuses to not properly protect hands. Today there are so many types of gloves available for every job that there is simply no excuse not to wear work gloves.
As EHSToday points out, glove manufacturing technology has improved over the years with innovations that have led to better safety, particularly through better cut resistance without sacrificing dexterity or touch sensitivity.
Specifically, new fiber technology has allowed different types of gloves to emerge as the go-to choice depending on what task is at hand. All these options are helping improve hand protection and safety in the construction industry.
Encourage others to always wear work gloves
Because it is not uncommon for construction workers to attempt to work without wearing gloves, it’s imperative that employers, site manages and fellow workers encourage everyone to wear gloves and protect their hands.
The cost of possible injuries - and the work missed because of them - is too high of a risk for everyone involved.
How to find the right work glove
Now that there are so many different types of work gloves available to construction workers, there really is not a reason to ever go without hand protection.
But how do you find the best glove for any given task? EHSToday recommends considering the following four factors:
- How well will the glove protect against potential hazards of the work environment?
- How well will the glove hold up once it is exposed to those hazards, including over time?
- How well does the glove fit the person wearing it?
- Is the cost of the glove worth the investment? The answer to this is almost always, yes. Although, we will argue it’s OK to find cheaper alternatives from trusted brands.
Construction workers can find great gloves for any job
With all the different types of gloves available, construction workers can easily find a glove that protects their hands and does not get in the way of getting the job done.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many resources available for finding the best work gloves. There is even a quick card that is useful as a reference.
OSHA recommends heavy-duty rubber gloves for concrete work, welding gloves for welding, insulated gloves and sleeves when electrical hazards are present.
For construction workers, knit work gloves with new methods of yarn wrapping can offer great cut protection. The extra thickness is noticeable, but the fabric is still comfortable and flexible. Many glove brands offer cut-resistant gloves, so do your research.
If dealing with chemicals, construction workers should opt for a coated glove that won’t allow the material containing chemicals to seep through the glove and come in contact with skin. These will offer a needed barrier of protection.
Ripit Gloves has great-fitting work gloves
At Ripit, our gloves are designed using some of the most advanced technology available. All of our gloves combine super gripability with super finder and hand sensitivity. It’s sort of like wearing a second layer of skin, meaning once you put them on, you won’t feel tempted to take them off.
Shop Ripit Gloves today to find a pair that’s a perfect fit for you.