Siemens reports a reduction in costs and hand accidents following introduction of gloves from Globus.
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Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd in Lincoln designs, manufactures and services 5 to 15 Megawatt gas turbines for the industrial power generation and oil and gas industries.
Over 700 staff working on the shop-floor in four departments; Assembly, Overhauls, Machining Services and Maintenance had previously been wearing a leading general purpose knitted dipped glove.
Several issues existed with this glove resulting in wearer dissatisfaction, high glove usage figures and increased risk for the workers:
Issue 1 - High absorbency resulting in skin contact with various oils
Outcome - Frequent removal of gloves, putting workers at risk
Issue 2 - Short life of the glove, averaging at 1 pair of gloves daily for each worker
Outcome - Significant costs for Siemens to fund and implement their glove policy
Issue 3 - High levels of hand perspiration
Outcome - Uncomfortable for the user when performing physical tasks resulting in workforce dissatisfaction
Issue 4 - Colouring of the glove (a white liner with a grey foam palm)
Outcome - Showing dirt easier resulting in higher usage
Recognising that Siemens’ employees needed a more durable glove to provide enhanced protection, comfort and grip when working in an oily and greasy environment, Globus, along with the Siemens Health & Safety Department introduced the Globus 5-step Hand Protection Programme.
The Globus 5-Step Hand Protection Programme
The objective of the Programme is to understand the precise needs of the user and recommend the right glove(s) that are fit for purpose, fit for the user and fit for the customer’s budget.
Steps 1 and 2 involved an onsite survey and trial across all four departments and Siemens trialled the Showa 380 Foam Grip glove. The trial involved 50 staff members and the results were as follows:
- Significantly lower glove usage. The life of the glove was anything up to a week because the foam palm of the Showa 380 locked in oil and grease to allow continual use, in comparison to a daily glove change with the previous glove. Plus the perception of the glove being less dirty due to the darker colouring increased the glove life further.
- Increased comfort and dexterity for the user. The fine cotton liner and anatomical shaping of the glove meant that hands did not sweat as much and the glove was more flexible and comfortable to wear with an improved sensitivity and feel.
- Higher rate of user acceptance. The success of the trial even resulted in several non-glove users being converted. The Showa 380 is the first glove to do this since the introduction of a glove policy at Siemens.
Step 3 involved presenting the trial results to the Health & Safety Department and due to the success, the Showa 380 Foam Grip replaced the previous glove across all four departments. Full staff training, onsite information and reviews were then implemented – forming steps 4 and 5 of the Globus Hand Protection Programme.
“Non-glove users have even been converted since the introduction of the Showa 380, the first glove to do this since the introduction of a glove policy onsite. Guys used to come into my office every morning for a pair of gloves, now I’m lucky to see them once a week.”
Lee Wilson, Principal Health, Safety & Environmental Engineer,
Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery
Following on from the successful introduction of the Showa 380, other gloves from the Globus portfolio have now been introduced to Siemens in Lincoln.
The Showa 377 is used in the strip areas on the shopfloor where lubricants are used to clean and ease components that might have seized or be contaminated. In addition, for workers handling sharp objects, the Skytec Ninja X4 is used and finally to aid product protection, Skytec Utah single use nitrile disposables have been adopted across the Lincoln site.
The Showa and Skytec gloves are now the approved and accepted gloves on-site, with measurable benefits to both the company and workforce.
Comparing the benefit of the Showa 380 glove alone, Siemens estimates that the ratio of replacing the previous glove onsite is 1:5, one 380 for every five of the previous market leading lightweight glove. As a result, Siemens business in Lincoln estimates that it has made a cost saving of 22% over an equivalent six month period, due to lower glove usage and a decrease in worker downtime for re-issuing gloves.
From a Health & Safety perspective, occupational health onsite has also seen a measurable benefit, as reported accidents to hands have also been reduced by an impressive 12% over the same six month period.
The environmental policy at Siemens has also received a boost. Only first grade materials are used to manufacture the gloves and it is Showa’s policy to not use any materials during that process that may cause irreversible damage to the environment. As such, this also has an impact on waste issues within Siemens, not only is the glove cleaner, the quantity of wastage has now significantly reduced.