PPE information Sheet Hand and Arm Protection

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1 PPE information Sheet Hand and Arm Protection Introduction The PPE assessment for hand and arm protection should focus on the employee activities, the workplace conditions, and the materials to be handled. This will indicate the type of hand protection required. There are a variety of glove types available which provides protection against chemical hazards, mechanical hazards, thermal hazards (hot and cold), static electricity, and the threat of radiation. Selecting the appropriate glove is paramount in ensuring safe handling. Hazards Gloves are designed to provide protection against a range of hazards, including: cuts, abrasions and punctures temperature extremes, hot and cold impact contact with chemicals contact with toxic or corrosive materials electric shock skin irritation and dermatitis disease or contamination vibration The wearing of gloves may not be compatible with jobs which require the use of some hand tools where there is a risk of entanglement. Types gloves hand only; gloves and cuffs hand and wrist; gauntlets/ sleeves/ long gloves hand, wrist and part of forearm; sleeving/arm protection part or whole of forearm and/or upper arm. The type and degree of protection depends on the materials and the way in which it is constructed.

2 EN 388: 1994 Mechanical Hazard Mechanical hazards are associated with the handling of rough or sharp objects which could abrade, cut or pierce the skin, such as glass, thin metal sheet and masonry blocks. A mechanical hazard is not associated with moving machinery. In fact, it can be extremely dangerous to wear gloves which could catch in moving parts or serrated blades. Gloves can be chosen based on the required abrasion resistance, blade cut resistance, tear resistance, and puncture resistance. Impact glove resistance EN Gloves and arm guards protecting against cuts and stabs by hand knives: Chain mail gloves and arm guards (EN : Gloves and arm guards made of material other than chain mail) Static Electricity Gloves containing a conductive element safely discharge electrostatic build up, effective in highly flammable atmospheres and in many clean situations, are approved to BS EN 388. Antistatic EN 374 Resistance to permeation Chemical Hazard Any substance which would irritate, inflame or burn the skin, or those which could be absorbed through the skin, is classed as a Chemical Hazard. Chemical protective gloves are available in a wide range of materials, which offer varying degrees of protection against different types of chemical. Gloves for work with harmful liquids should be selected on the basis of "breakthrough time". Information on breakthrough times for the range of chemicals involved should be obtained from suppliers. Level Breakthrough 1 >10 minutes 2 >30 minutes 3 >60 minutes 4 >120 minutes 5 >240 minutes 6 >480 minutes (Note: breakthrough times are times for chemical particles to get to the inside of the glove).

3 There are many different chemicals in regular use in industry today. If you are in doubt about the suitability or the useful life of a glove against a particular chemical, contact your supplier or manufacturer for details. EN 374 Microorganism hazards EN 407 Heat and/or Fire hazards EN 511 Cold hazards EN 421 Ionising radiation and radioactive contamination EN Chainsaw protection Latex Category III Mortal Risks Gloves approved to BS EN 374 offer protection against chemical splash, immersion and protection against microorganism hazards and should be carefully chosen and fully assessed. Thermal Hazards Hot and Cold Heat can be radiated or conducted, or it may be actual flames. Cold can be anything from cold water to frozen gases. It is important that we know the type of hazard, and the temperature involved, in order to recommend suitable protection. For thermal hazards the type is chosen based on the resistance required: burning resistance contact heat resistance convective heat resistance radiant heat resistance resistance to small splashes of molten metal resistance to large splashes of molten metal For cold risk the type of gloves is chosen based on the resistance required: convective cold resistance contact cold resistance water impermeability Protective gloves against Ionising radiation and radioactive contamination To protect against ionising radiation, gloves must contain a certain amount of lead, and this amount has to be marked on the glove. This will affect glove disposal arrangements at the end of the gloves useful life. Chainsaw Protection Note: Unless otherwise marked, only the left-hand glove will incorporate chainsaw protection and the following markings. as for EN 420, plus: For chainsaw use: A (5 finger glove without protection in the fingers), or B (glove or mitt also having protection on the back of the fingers, but not the thumb) chain speed class 0 to 4 (16 to 28 m/s in 4 m/s increments)

4 Latex gloves are not to be used at the University unless a risk assessment justifies their use. The Hazardous Substances Safety Management Standard states that latex products are not to be bought. Chemical hazard The following Table recommends the most suitable glove materials to protect wearers from exposure (HSE). Activities The following processes and activities involve risk of injury to the hands or hazards for which protection may be necessary. Manual handling Hands may be pierced by abrasive, sharp or pointed objects or damaged by impact when handling goods. However, gloves should not be worn when working near moving equipment and machinery parts as the glove may get caught in the equipment and draw the hand and arm of the worker into the moving machinery. Vibration Gloves are essential to keep hands warm in cold weather when operating machines that cause vibrations such as pneumatic drills and chain-saws. Construction and outdoor work Manual dexterity is lost when the hands are cold, which can lead to accidents if articles are dropped. Gloves protect against hazards in site clearance such as previous contamination of soil which may contain disease spores that may seriously infect small cuts and abrasions. Hot and cold materials Gloves will also protect against hazards from handling hot or cold materials and work involving contact with naked flames or welding. Electricity Danger from electric shock. Chemical There are many tasks where the hands may come into contact with toxic or corrosive substances. Examples include maintenance of machinery, cleaning up chemical spillages and mixing and dispensing pesticide formulations. If correctly selected and used, gloves provide a barrier between the wearer's skin and the harmful substance, preventing local damage, or in some cases absorption through the skin.

5 Radioactivity Danger from contamination when handling radioactive materials Selection Gloves or other hand protection should be capable of giving protection from hazards, be comfortable and fit the wearer. The choice should be made on the basis of suitability for protection, compatibility with the work and the requirements of the user. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and markings for appropriate use and level of protection. When selecting gloves for chemical protection, reference should be made to chemical permeation and resistance data provided by manufacturers. PROTECTION PROVIDED TO HAND AND ARM Penetration and abrasion: Gloves made from chain-mail or leather protect against penetration and abrasion. Gloves made from knitted Kevlar will provide protection against cuts and gloves manufactured from Kevlar needlefelt gives good puncture resistance. Kevlar Sleeves are also available to prevent injury to the arms. Kevlar sleeves Thermal protection: Depending upon their weight and construction, terrycloth gloves will provide protection against heat and cold. Gloves made from neoprene are good for handling oils in low temperatures. Gloves manufactured from other materials such as Kevlar, glass fibre and leather can be used to provide protection at higher temperatures. Cold store gloves Fire resistance: Chromed leather gloves are fire retardant. Welding gauntlet

6 Nitrile PROTECTION PROVIDED TO HAND AND ARM Chemical protection: Chemical protective gloves are available in a range of materials including natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, butyl, PVA, PVC and viton. The degree of protection against chemical permeation depends on the glove material, its thickness and method of construction. As a general rule, gloves for use in handling toxic liquids should be chosen on the basis of breakthrough time. This means that the duration of use should not exceed the breakthrough time quoted by the manufacturer of the glove for the chemical substance concerned. Laboratory testing may be required in order to establish adequacy in some applications. When handling dry powders, any chemically resistant glove may be used. The durability of the gloves in the workplace should also be considered. Some glove materials may be adversely affected by abrasion. PVC Gauntlet Latex free rubber glove General use gloves: Rubber, plastic or knit fabric gloves are flexible, resist cuts and abrasions, repel liquids and offer a good grip. Rubber gloves allow a sensitive touch and give a firm grip in water or wet conditions. Leather, cotton knit or other general purpose gloves are suitable for most other jobs. General use gloves should only be used to protect against minimal risks to health and safety. Rigger glove Anti-vibration gloves Anti-vibration gloves are designed to provide protection to the users of vibrating equipment. Anti-vibration glove Measuring for Proper Fit

7 Without a proper fit, gloves can be clumsy to work with, uncomfortable, cause hand fatigue, and ultimately be hazardous. Maintenance Care should be taken in the use, removal and storage of protective gloves. Gloves should: be maintained in good condition, checked regularly and discarded if worn or deteriorated; not be re-worn if disposable (ie disposable gloves should only be worn once and then discarded); be free of holes or cuts and foreign materials and their shape should not be distorted; and fit the wearer properly leaving no gap between the glove and the wearer s sleeve. Gloves should always be cleaned according to the manufacturer s instructions as they may have particular finishes which may be damaged. Contact between the gloves and chemicals should be kept to a minimum as some chemicals can alter the physical characteristics of a glove and impair its protective properties. Gloves contaminated by chemicals should be washed as soon as possible and before their removal from the hands. Grossly contaminated gloves should be discarded. Gloves contaminated on the inside can be dangerous as the chemical contamination will be absorbed by the skin. Wear armlets if there is a danger of chemicals entering the glove at the cuff. Storage Hand and arm protection should be suitably stored so as to prevent contamination and damage and should be stored away from contaminated protection. Information, instruction and training Providing the user with the information, instruction and training for the correct/safe usage of hand and arm protection is important. If protective gloves are selected or worn incorrectly there is every possibility that this may increase the wearers overall risk to health because: Contaminant may get inside the glove to reside permanently against the skin which could cause greater exposure than if a glove had not been worn at all; Wearing a glove for extended periods can lead to the development of excessive moisture (sweat) on the skin which in itself will act as a skin irritant; or Wearing gloves manufactured in natural rubber (latex) can cause an allergenic reaction in susceptible individuals. Information, instruction and training must also focus on the correct methods for safe removal and disposal of the gloves. This is to ensure that the employee s bare hands do not come into contact with the outside of the contaminated glove when putting on or taking gloves off. Standards There are many standards for hand and arm protection, some have been mentioned within this information sheet and a more comprehensive list can be found in the appendix to the PPE Safety Management Standard.

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