In 70% of all hand injuries, the injured worker was not wearing gloves. For the remaining cases, gloves were not of the right fit, were damaged or inappropriate for the tasks to be carried out. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an American organization, more than a million emergency room visits due to hand injuries are reported each year, representing the second leading cause of occupational accidents in North America, causing heavy losses for companies. The use of appropriate equipment whose quality is certified by rigorous testing can significantly reduce the number of accidents.
1. The financial disaster of work accidents
Many hand injuries could have been avoided or their number reduced through the use of appropriate material meeting strict safety standards. Any employer seeking to bring a safe work environment for all employees, and avoid any loss of productivity, will equip his teams accordingly. The pernicious effects of work accidents might cost a company up to four times the salary of a single injured employee, considering the costs related to insurance, claims, sick leave, compensation, loss of time and able staff causing delays in orders, contract losses and declining buyer confidence.
2. The importance of health and safety
The safety standards, to which cut-resistant gloves are subject, greatly vary over time according to each country and defined workplace applications (heavy machinery, maintenance, construction, etc.) Each brand could claim their own resistance level, without providing a certified reference for the users. Any equipment not quite suited for hazardous tasks is putting the work teams at a greater risk of accidents and injuries.
It is because of these concerns that the new ANSI standard was created. This international standard requires both a high resistance as well as its clear definition according to criteria calculated on the basis of the most common risks found in the work environment. However, it should be noted that manufacturers benefit from a two-year grace period before this new standard is applied in February 2018. Therefore, it is crucial to pay particular attention and select gloves already compliant with the most stringent criteria of the standard.
The new ANSI standard is now divided into nine different protection levels on a progressive scale, offering more detailed indication on cut-resistant gloves. Therefore, a pair of level A1 gloves will offer less protection (blade cut through pressure of 500 g) and level A9, the highest level, offers the greatest protection (blade cut through pressure of 6000 g). Laboratory testing must be performed using a TDM-100 machine, under close supervision and repeated several times to confirm each result.
From now on, only products tested on the TDM-100 using a brand new blade between each cut test will be eligible to the ANSI/ISEA certification.
Before buying equipment for your employees, be aware that several indicators will help you pick high-quality gloves. Choosing a supplier certified by DuPont, the inventor of Kevlar, guarantees stringent testing. A high Kevlar percentage in the composition of the equipment (cut-resistant glove and sleeve) indicates a greater resistance. Only certified and established testing is the proof of a quality level meeting adequate standards. Equipment certified by the highest level of protection according to the ANSI standard (from level A1 to level A9) are the most resistant of their category and adapted to extreme conditions, for many environments and various applications such handling of sharp objects, glass and metal.
Among its carefully selected products, SPI Health and Safety proposes Superior Glove cut-resistant gloves. Superior Glove, a manufacturer certified by DuPont, has always met the strictest requirements of the ANSI standard. The ANSI shield icon displayed on gloves indicates their resistance level: the higher the level, the greater the cut resistance. Visit the “Hand Protection” section on our website to select the glove best suited to your needs.