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Article # 2102

Terrycloth Gloves Reduce Laceration Risk

If an item of personal protection equipment (PPE) doesn't fit right or is uncomfortable to wear, workers are not likely to use it, even at the risk of a serious injury. This is especially true of gloves.

At a major automobile manufacturer's parts stamping facility, where more than 1,000 workers are involved in processing large quantities of steel into finished parts, gloves are the first line of defense against lacerations. "We are handling steel through a number of processes," says Tim Landel, supervisor of safety at the plant. "Our workers are exposed to production metal, and they require gloves and other PPE to protect them."

In the past, the automotive manufacturer relied on an eight-ounce canvas glove, with either a Kevlar or stainless steel liner, as the standard instrument of protection from lacerations. However, many of the plant's workers were unhappy with the "fit and feel" of these gloves and often neglected to wear them.

Early this year, the automotive manufacturer's Magid representative provided the auto giant with a terrycloth alternative to the canvas glove, which he knew would solve the plant's problem. "From the start, it was obvious that these gloves were better suited to our needs," says John Sheffield, the UAWA health and safety representative at the plant. "We tried 600 pair, and laceration injuries went down sharply."

Sheffield continues, "Even though the terrycloth gloves cost a few pennies more per pair, we are actually saving money, because we are not going through as many pairs as before. The terrycloth gloves hold up better, and because they are reversible, last twice as long."

"Employees with larger hands find these gloves more comfortable," adds Landel. "Plus, these gloves are versatile. In other words, a worker doesn't have to stop what he's doing and switch to a different pair of gloves to do a different task."

Landel and Sheffield give Magid much of the credit for their success in preventing laceration injuries at the plant. "Magid worked with us to solve the problem. They were willing to let us try different styles until we found exactly the right ones. Our Magid representative was innovative in telling us about the terrycloth glove, and he works closely with our purchasing group to get these gloves in here on a timely basis," Landel concludes.