Safety can have many different definitions.
Your neighborhood crossing guard might have one interpretation and a first responder or your doctor another, but when it comes to safety in the workplace, everyone speaks the same language. It’s about planning, prevention, and putting the right tools in place so that hazards are minimized and employees are protected. There can be a lot to consider, all with the goal that everyone will make it home safe when the workday is over.
But it doesn’t happen overnight.
If you’ve gone through the Hierarchy of Hazard Controls, you’ll notice that the most effective way to guarantee safety in the workplace is to eliminate any and all hazards or health and safety risks entirely. Now, given the nature of your specific industry, that might be unfeasible or altogether impossible, but it helps to go through the process of identifying potential areas of weakness and avoidable danger. Where are injuries happening? And why?
It is estimated that close to seventy percent of all workplace hand injuries occur when workers aren’t wearing gloves. That other 30%? Those gloves were either a poor fit, damaged, or weren’t the choice for the job.
That’s where we come in.
Introducing… The Glove Clinic!
Superior’s revamped Glove Clinic was specifically designed to help reduce those preventable workplace injuries. Through a specialized workplace assessment plan, employee and employer education sessions, and a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) trial, our goal is to play a part in making your work environment that much safer.
This article will walk you through the basics of our Glove Clinic and cover the standard “ins-and-outs” of a glove trial, with a focus on recognizing and helping to further protect against any possible hand hazards in the workplace.
So how does it all come together?
The Glove Clinic: The First Steps
Before you begin handing out gloves or even just collecting raw data, simply take a walk around your workplace – what do you see?
What task presents the highest risk to employees? If employees are suffering injuries, where are they occurring? What type of gloves, if any, are being used? If employees are going through their gloves quickly, with a high amount of damage, what can be done to lower their usage and ideally, lower operating costs, too? What types of gloves will be the best fit?
As hazards are identified and before the trial officially begins, it helps to gather input and buy-in from those who are directly impacted by glove use: the employees. What are they looking for? As workers operating hands-on, what are their suggestions? Concerns? By having them openly involved in the trial’s development process, not only will their feedback be directly integrated into its end result, but they’ll also be more inclined to see it through.
Beginning the Trial
Once the initial trial group has been chosen, it can help to outline the specifics. The length of the trial, evaluation procedure, how feedback will be collected and used and making sure the gloves are easily accessible.
At the onset of the trial, in order to properly judge the impact of the chosen glove, it is recommended that employees continue wearing their current glove until it is time for it to be replaced. When beginning work with the new glove, have each employee write down their name and the date on the back. This information is key in establishing how long the glove lasted once the trial is completed.
Building Our Partnership
A good way to make sure that employees are consistently engaged and understand the benefits towards their safety during the trial is to gather their feedback. What are their opinions on the glove? Employees are encouraged to fill out evaluation forms, allowing them to document their experience.
At the conclusion of the trial, the final step is to send us your used gloves and those evaluation forms, as we work on building out a customized report and bring all your results together. In most circumstances, the first glove you trial will be the glove you’ll stick with and we’ll work on finding your ideal Superior Glove distributor.
Sometimes, however, the trial may be unsuccessful: either an unexpected hazard complicates the results, the gloves weren’t the best fit with employees, or based on the data, we recommended you don’t move forward with that particular glove. Whatever the case, we’ll re-analyze your workplace hazards, take in your collected feedback and start fresh with a new glove. Until we find that perfect fit for your business and employees, we won’t stop working.
Your Glove Trial is Over – What’s Next?
Even once the trial is complete, our partnership isn’t over. Once you and your team have transitioned smoothly to your new glove and safety protocols, we’ll always be there to assist, helping you deal with any issues that crop up post-trial or evaluating other areas of the business that you feel could be putting workers at risk.
The Glove Clinic was designed to always be evolving, changing and adapting. Our goal, above everything else, is prioritizing safety in the workplace. Part of that journey is working with you and your team, identifying the risks you’re facing, tackling them, and hopefully, eliminating them, as we move towards a fruitful safety partnership.
Strong workplace safety shouldn’t be the end. Instead, it should just be the beginning.