PPEAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hand injuries continue to be the second leading cause of work related injury.  These injuries come with a price tag of $740 million annually (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery) when one factors in both the direct medical cost of the injury and the indirect costs of lost productivity,  training replacement employees, repairing possible equipment, and investigating the cause of the injury.

Research continues to confirm that glove use can reduce the risk of acute injury by 60 – 70%. The problem remains that, although glove use can significantly reduce the risk to employees, multiple studies reveal injured workers report not wearing gloves at the time of their injury.  The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene conducted a study across 5 northeastern states which reveals only 19% of 1166 workers who sustained hand/wrist injuries reported wearing gloves.  This leaves 81% of those injured workers admitting to not using gloves at the time of injury. Alarmingly, these numbers appear to reflect that majority of those in the workplace.

With statistics like these, why are so many employees risking injury by not wearing the proper hand protection?  How can the glove industry improve these statistics? While it is vitally important that employers have health and safety programs in place, knowledge of new products and industry advancements is another key component to protecting employees and in return, reducing the cost of workman’s compensation. The right glove, with the right fit, with the right characteristics and attributes can and will lead to less hand injuries resulting in increased production and reduced costs to cover both direct and indirect expenses of those injuries.

The International Glove Association is dedicated to continue to improve and increase glove knowledge for those in need of hand protection. The IGA holds their annual Glove Symposium each spring, offering those in the industry an opportunity to gather, network and share what’s new in the market. 

The IGA believes that one way to better educate end users (and their employees) is through glove distributors. For this reason, distributors, new to the IGA, will receive a complimentary 2015 IGA membership when they register for and attend the 2015 IGA Symposium in Disney World March 15 – 17, 2015. This is an opportunity where material suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors can gather to address the issues within the glove industry.  Attendees have the opportunity to participate in glove education programs, industry advancements, marketing tools, industry trends, and so much more. 

In addition to the Annual Glove Symposium, some IGA member benefits include educational glove guides, quarterly and annual market data, and certification for cut, abrasion, and puncture resistant gloves.

For more information about the International Glove Association, visit www.iga-online.com or call Patty Burdge at 814-328-5208