4 April 2016

A Guide To Hands & Hand Protection

The human hand is a wonder

Four fingers and an opposable thumb work together to enable humans to interact with each other and shape the world around them like no other creature. The appendages at the ends of our arms, combined with proportionally large brains and bipedal (or two legged) movement, have helped the human race progress and flourish.

The human hand is made up of 29 bones connected by 29 joints and interestingly, while fingers are controlled by 34 different muscles, none of these are in the fingers themselves but in the palm and the forearm. Your fingers and much of your hands are actually ligaments - there are 123 within the human hand.

From playing a masterpiece on a piano to building palaces, our hands can seemingly achieve anything given the right tools. Yet it is not just their ability to use equipment that makes them special, but also a sense of touch. This comes from the hand’s 48 named nerves. Amazingly, the skin on our hands is sensitive enough to be able to tell the difference between hot and cold, dry and wet, soft and hard, and so on, while at the same time thick enough to offer grip and some protection from outside elements.

Give protective skin a hand

Hands are one of our most valuable physical assets. If you have ever been unable to use your hands through injury or ailment, you will know how difficult even the most mundane tasks can be without them. That is why it is so important to protect your hands. Keeping them safe from harm is key to ensuring you will be able to use your hands in the way you want - throughout your life.

When carrying out work that has the potential to damage your hands, it is important to adopt a measured approach in order to evaluate and understand the risk involved. What is being handled? Is it abrasive? Does it have a sharp or rough edge? Is it slippery? Will I come into contact with any liquids – chemicals, oils, greases, detergents, water etc.? Does the task environment expose my hands to other risks? These are all important factors in selecting the appropriate gloves for the task.

If the glove fits

When looking for gloves, make sure they fit properly as hands are a variety of shapes and sizes. The average size of a man’s hand is 18.9cm (7.4 inches) long and 8.4cm (3.3 inches) wide, while a woman’s is 17.2cm (6.7 inches) by 7.4cm (2.9 inches). Interestingly, the world’s largest ever human hands belonged to the tallest man in history, Robert Wadlow. Wadlow, who stood at 2.72m (8 feet 1 inch), had hands that were 320mm (12.75 inches) long – a literal case of a hand being a foot!

After wearing gloves it is a good idea to apply hypoallergenic moisturiser to your hands as some of the essential oils in your skins can be removed when doing manual tasks.

A round of applause for hands

As can be seen hands are complex and we would find life very difficult without them. So, remember to look after your hands and they will continue to look after you.

With new knowledge and respect for your hands think twice before purchasing protective PPE Gloves. Take a look at our wide range of high quality safety gloves ideal for any job. Contact us or call on +44 (0) 1344 207090 for more information

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