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Hands are your most vulnerable body part

November 27, 2012
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hospital emergency roomThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates the rate of incidence of hand injury in the workplace to be 0.25. In other words, 25 hand injuries occur on average per year for every 10,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Hand injuries can come in many forms. Sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures are the most common followed by avulsions, abrasions, contusions, lacerations, and punctures. Burning, skin diseases, and electric shock also pose considerable threats.

Employers should take every precaution to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards. Once these safety precautions are in place, equipping employees with proper hand protection can help prevent injuries.

Latex gloves offer a unique blend of comfort and protection. Resistant to puncturing, these gloves serve as an optimal barrier against biological contaminants. Made from natural rubber, latex is widely considered to provide the greatest fit of any disposable.

Designed for short-term use, vinyl gloves offer a cost-effective alternative to latex while providing an effective temporary barrier against biological contaminants. Available in both exam and multipurpose grades, it is an ideal choice for applications demanding frequent changes.

Regarded as the highest quality replacement for latex, nitrile continues to grow in popularity. Nitrile provides outstanding resistance against many commonly used chemicals. Made from 100% synthetic polymer, consisting of acrylonitrile, butadiene and a carboxylic acid, it is also more resistant to puncturing than its latex and vinyl counterparts.

Offering the best economy, polyethylene gloves serve as an inexpensive solution for creating a barrier between bare hands and handled material (most typically, food). Disposable poly gloves are designed for short-term usage, and cannot provide equal levels of protection or resistance as alternatives.

Sources: NIOSH and OSHA

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