Types of Hand and Arm Protection

Whether or not you have dealt with work-related injuries in the past, you need to provide your employees with the best protection possible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends conducting an assessment of workplace hazards so you know what types of risks your employees might be exposed to.

One common area of hazards has to do with your employees’ hands and arms. If they work with hot temperatures, chemicals, or heavy equipment, they are in need of really good protective gloves. Here is more information about hand and arm protection, and what types there are to choose from.

What You Are Protecting Your Hands and Arms From

The first thing you need to know is exactly what hazards might put your employees at risk in direct relation to injuries of their fingers, hands, and arms. Some things you will need to be careful of is cuts and lacerations from using sharp objects, damage from heavy and handheld equipment, using chemicals and hazardous materials, and working with the hands in a warehouse or assembly line type of job.

To select the best hand and arm right protection, look into these factors.

  • Thermal protection
  • Type of chemicals they come into contact
  • Duration of contact
  • Type of contact
  • What type of grip they need
  • Size and comfort of the gloves
  • If they need resistance
  • The proper fabric or coating
  • If they need to be resistant to liquids or heat

Types of Protection for Hands and Arms

The following includes the many different types of protective materials you can choose for hands and arm protection. The majority of them are gloves, though some only cover the hands and others are higher up on the arms.

General purpose.  The basic types of work gloves are to protect from cuts, scrapes, and punctures. If you have workers in construction or landscaping, these are the types of gloves they should have.

Chemical-resistant. These types of gloves naturally protect your employees’ hands and forearms from chemical contact. Not only does the material protect them from liquids, but also snags, punctures, cuts, and lacerations.

Critical environment.  Do you have employees working in pharmaceutical, nuclear, or electronic industries? If so, they may be in need of special gloves that protect them in certain critical environments.

Cut resistance.  While many gloves protect against minor cuts and lacerations, there are a special type of gloves that are good for more severe cuts. If your employees regularly cut leather or metal, they might need these. They are also good for people in the food industry, and warehouse employees.

Leather.  Gloves with a solid leather material are for comfort and protection. They are generally resistant to mild heat and abrasions, and can work as an all-purpose glove.

After ensuring your employees hands and arms are protected with gloves, cover each one of them with a workers’ compensation insurance policy. If they get an injury of their hands or arms, the policy covers their medical costs.