Cut Resistant Gloves Used For All Cutting Tools
What are the benefits of using cut resistant gloves?
- The use of a thin cut resistant glove on the knife hand and a thicker or mesh one on the non-knife hand can reduce lacerations by up to 80%.
- Wearing a thin protective garment on the knife hand will reduce “run through” lacerations.
- These cut resistant gloves help to keep hands warm in a cold work environment and when handling wet/cold products.
- Knit type garments provide a better fit to the hands and are more comfortable than metal mesh type.
- Once accustomed to the cut resistant glove the grip of the knife is not diminished.
What are the characteristics of the materials in the gloves?
- Spectra Fibers Cut resistant gloves made of this material offer high cut resistance. Even when wet they are 10 times stronger than steel per unit weight. These cut resistant gloves are lightweight and flexible.
- Kevlar This material is 5 times stronger than steel per unit weight. These cut resistant gloves are also heat resistant gloves withstanding heats up to 800° F. These garments provide abrasion and heat protection and are lightweight and flexible.
- Metal Mesh These cut resistant gloves are made with interlocking stainless steel mesh. They offer superior protection from punctures and lacerations. These cut resistant gloves are standard in the meat and poultry industry. As hand protection they are essential but they are not as comfortable as knit garments.
The mandatory use of cut resistant gloves within the food service industry is a topic of debate. OHSA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Protection regulations do not specifically mandate their use. It is not clear is OHSA even requires their use. OHSA’s PPE is not a “specifications” based standard. Instead it is “performance-based”. This means that PPE defers to the employers’ reasonable judgment about what PPE is necessary for employees in which circumstances. The applicable standard, 29CFR 1910.138(a) provides: “Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts of lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.” The current enforcement environment appears to have OHSA actively citing employers with violations if their employees are not using this type of hand protection. This move is necessitating that employers providing these gloves in sufficient numbers to any and all employees that handle knives or other hazardous cutting devises. Given the following facts it is a sound investment.
- The average insurance compensation for OHSA recordable hand and finger injuries isn approximately $3856.00
- The average medical payment is approximately $2600.00.
- There are approximately 439,000 disabling finger and hand injuries a year.