The Danger Of Relying On PPE Work Gloves
In this particular case the item of clothing in question was work gloves, or safety gloves. Many accidents occur each year because workers failed to wear appropriate safety equipment or clothing, regardless of whether this is provided or not. Of course the law quite clearly states that it is the employer's responsibility to make absolutely certain that all appropriate safety equipment and clothing is provided. It is then the employee's responsibility to make use of these supply equipment or clothing.
Unfortunately if the employer has chosen the wrong type of safety clothing, as indicated in this new story, then even if the employee does make use of the clothing, they may very well still be at risk.
There is an additional danger here too, because if the employer has provided safety clothing such as work gloves, then any employee who wears those work gloves will have an exaggerated impression of the safety or protection which the clothing offers. This may lead them to behave or work in a way which they would not otherwise do if they believed that they were not wearing the appropriate safety gloves.
In this particular case the problem with the gloves was that they were able to snag very easily on the equipment being used. The man who suffered the appalling injury was feeding offcuts of branches into a wood shredder, and it was while he was doing this that the loose material on his gloves got caught on the machinery, dragging his entire arm into the shredder.
This accident could have been avoided had the employer chosen a more appropriate form of safety glove which would not snag or get caught as easily. It is unfortunate that it is experiences such as these which often end up teaching lessons regarding the importance not just of having personal protective equipment but of having the most appropriate form of equipment or clothing.
As employees it is highly recommended that even if you are provided with safety equipment or clothing such as work gloves you do not fully rely upon these, and make your own secondary judgement as far as the likely or potential risks are concerned.
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