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April 8, 2022


4 weeks

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4 weeks

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Hands are one of the twos—two hands, two feet, two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears. Any one of these (or both) can be injured on the job. But hands are particularly vulnerable, and not always easy to protect.

Because the hands and fingers play a role in virtually every task, they are unusually vulnerable to injury. And they are also often taken for granted and not protected as well as they should be. Yet their distinctive characteristics—strength, flexibility, sensitivity, and coordination—are vital, and hand protection and safety should be a major concern for both employers and workers. Hands and fingers can be injured in many different ways. For example, they can be:
  • Cut
  • Punctured
  • Scraped
  • Burned
  • Irritated by dermatitis
  • Fractured
  • Crushed or mangled
  • Amputated
Fortunately, almost all hand and finger injuries can be prevented. But it takes engineering controls, PPE, lots and lots of training, and daily reinforcement of the hand safety message to protect employees from workplace hand hazards such as:
  • Machines and tools
  • Sharp objects
  • Rough surfaces
  • Hot substances and surfaces
  • Chemicals
  • Electricity
  • Extreme cold

Hand Safety Do’s and Don’ts

Make sure your workers learn and remember these hand safety do’s and don’ts.


  • Pay attention to where both hands are placed at all times while working, especially when working with machinery.
  • Wear appropriate gloves to protect against particular hazards.
  • Use the right tool for the job, and know how to use tools safely, especially power tools.
  • Stretch your hands and fingers from time to time to give tense and tired muscles and tendons a chance to relax.
  • Protect your hands when working with chemicals, hot substances, sharp objects, and other common workplace hand hazards.


  • Don’t use hands to feed material into machines.
  • Don’t wear gloves, jewelry, or long sleeves around rotating machinery.
  • Don’t use your hands to sweep up wood chips, metal shavings, glass, or other sharp objects.
  • Don’t use strong solvents or gasoline to clean your hands.
  • Don’t operate machinery or power tools under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even some prescription drugs.

Why is Hand Protection needed in the workplace?

In the workplace, hands and fingers can get caught, jammed, pinched and even crushed in machinery. Sharp tools can lacerate, tear and jab the skin. Along with this, hands and fingers come in contact with many chemicals and solvents. Flammable liquids and acids cause burns and injuries.  All of these safety hazards make the need for good hand protection (safety gloves) absolutely necessary.

Who oversees that employee’s hands are protected on the job?

Employers select hand protection for their employees when their hands are exposed to hazards. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees’ hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, and harmful temperature extremes. Employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.

What factors have to be considered when choosing hand protections?

There are various types of hand protection (safety gloves) that are available for workers.  There are different materials that are used depending on the level of hazard that is present.  An important factor that needs to be considered in your choice of safety gloves is the amount of dexterity that is needed in order to perform a certain task or tasks on the job.  Certain materials offer a worker much more dexterity than others.  For example, a latex glove fits like a second skin.  It offers practically the same dexterity as working with bare hands but latex is not suitable for all safety applications. Your choice of gloves has to include a combination of the dexterity needed along with the hazards that are present in your work environment.  If there is the risk of exposure to chemicals, the gloves chosen have to be tested to protect against the chemicals that you are working with.

If I choose chemical resistant gloves, will they protect me from all chemicals?

It is important to note that gloves might resist one chemical but not resist others or might not resist a combination of chemicals.  There is no glove that will resist ALL chemicals.  Be sure that you read the information from each manufacturer that you purchase your gloves from.  Each manufacturer has its own unique test data.

What is the best way to measure a hand for the best possible fit of a glove?

Measure the circumference of the hand around the palm at the knuckle area and for the length, measure from the very tip of the middle finger to the area on the forearm where the glove should end.   You will usually find chemical resistant gloves in lengths between 10 and 14 inches.  Some can be even longer in order to cover up over the elbow.

How long do gloves usually last?

As with any kind of (PPE) personal protective equipment, gloves should be routinely inspected and replaced if there is any sign of damage.  Gloves are especially vulnerable if they are routinely exposed to chemicals.

Course Curriculum

    • Hand Protection at Work 00:00:00
    • Glove Inspection 00:10:00
    • Leather Drivers’ Gloves 00:20:00
    • Latex Gloves 00:00:00
    • Chemical Gloves 00:00:00
    • Silver Shield Gloves 00:20:00
    • Leather TIG Welding Gloves 00:20:00
    • Stick Welding Gloves 00:20:00
    • Leather Welding Sleeves 00:00:00
    • Cut Resistant Kevlar Gloves & Sleeves 00:40:00
    • Puncture Resistant Gloves 00:15:00
    • High Voltage Gloves 00:20:00
    • Course Activities 00:00:00
    • Hand Protection At Work Training Test 00:45:00

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