12 December 2019

PPE & The Hierarchy of Controls

When considering the hierarchy of hazard control, as prescribed by NIOSH, PPE is the last line of defence. If the hazard cannot be handled via: elimination; substitution, engineering controls; or administrative controls, then PPE must be used to protect the wearer from harm.

Source: NIOSH

Although human intervention can be avoided or far removed from the hazard, there are often times where it's impossible to complete a task without some exposure to risk. In these instances, PPE should be correct and protective enough to stop the individual from coming to any harm.

One example of this is handling and storage. Often, goods must be carried manually. In these circumstances, there is more risk to the safety of the individual. According to HSE, 33% of injuries reported within manual handling are caused by falling objects, whilst 25% are caused by hand tools such as knives. What this demonstrates is that those conducting manual handling tasks needs PPE that provides good grip and cut protection. This starts with the gloves that they wear.

[ 33% OF INJURIES... ARE CAUSED BY FALLING OBJECTS ]
SOURCE: HSE

Safety gloves that have latex or nitrile coatings have better grip than PU, helping the wearer to keep a hold on whatever they’re carrying and reduce the amount of dropped objects. Check out our blog post about the pros and cons of different coatings here. Gloves with higher grip will reduce the risk of the boxes dropping onto feet and crushing toes, or from height onto the heads of others.

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Other potential risks come from using box cutters and scissors. Again, this is a task that requires human hands to be involved. 

[ 25%(OF INJURIES)... CAUSED BY HAND TOOLS ]
SOURCE: HSE

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When using sharp tools, the right level of cut protection is needed. For box cutters, lower levels A and B would be suitable whereas for something more sharp like an exposed blade, a higher level of cut protection would keep your hands safe.

Get in touch with one of our team today to talk about how safety gloves can be an effective last line of defence within your business.

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