The Benefits of Engaging With Glove Wearers
As a global leader in workplace hand protection we are often brought in to help Health and Safety Managers implement successful hand protection programmes. When the right hand protection choices are made, the benefits can be far reaching – not just a reduction in hand injury levels.
And in our experience one of the major success factors in developing a truly effective and meaningful hand protection programme is proactively engaging with workers and actively taking them with you on the safety process.
Whilst workers may not have technical safety knowledge, they are absolutely best placed to provide invaluable feedback and insight – information that will help feed into the wider hand protection programme.
In this blog post we will look at the far reaching benefits that worker engagement can have in developing an integrated approach to reducing the issue of hand injuries.
Hand Injuries in the UK - Where are we?
Despite the growing focus on safety in the workplace, hand and hand associated injuries continue to pose a significant problem. The latest injury statistics from the Health and Safety Executive highlight the impact on both workers and businesses here in the UK.
When it came to injuries to specific areas of the body in 2014/2015, there were more injuries to the fingers, hands, wrists and upper limbs than any other part of the body. Of the 76,054 non-fatal injuries 37% (28,442) were located on the hands and upper limbs. Over 20,000 of these injuries resulted in workers having to take 7 days or more off work.
Added to that were an estimated 1,320 new cases of skin disease reported by dermatologists, of which four-fifths were as a result of contact dermatitis. Handling injuries also continue to be one of the biggest contributing factors for over 7 day injuries in the UK.
The reality is not only millions of lost working days, injury absence costs, lost productivity and management time, but the immeasurable physical and psychological costs to the injured workers.
Key Steps to Establishing an Effective Glove Survey
There are several factors to consider when selecting protective gloves but way before any products are considered, involving workers in a hand protection survey is one of the most effective starting points.
We can’t emphasise enough just how valuable it is to get the people who actually wear the gloves involved from the outset. Not only will this help with the specification and identification of hazards, issues and the performance of current products (where they are supplied), but in our experience it can form the solid foundations from which wider direct and indirect business benefits result.
This interaction is a critical step in laying the foundations for a successful and bespoke hand protection programme, looking at the specific needs of the organisation based on its activities, hand hazards, ways of working and needs of the workforce.
Their knowledge and understanding of the jobs being carried out on site and the effectiveness and practicality of the hand protection currently used or being trialled is a major plank in the hand protection programme. But more than that, by actively involving them, putting value on their feedback and making them part of the decision making process, you are empowering workers and putting them at the heart of their own well-being.
This approach creates a win-win situation for workers and management alike – workers who know they are being listened to are far more likely to buy into the hand protection programme because they are part of it and their support, in turn, becomes part of the safety culture.
Simply put workers are more likely to wear their gloves - and keep them on - because they understand the products' purposes and why specific hand protection products are selected.
This approach can take hand protection from an often all too familiar dictatorial ‘you will wear’ approach without understanding why, which can build up reluctance to a position where they embrace the programme because they understand the issues and have been part of the solution.
The Globus Hand Protection Programme
We’ve been carrying out this approach with companies of all sizes as part of our Globus Hand Protection Programme (GHPP).
This multi-step approach to effective evaluation and implementation of a hand protection policy has worker engagement at its heart. Not only does this have a direct impact in enhancing hand protection in the workplace but it can have wider benefits to the organisation too, including but not limited to:
- Increased productivity
- Increased performance
- Improved staff morale
- Reduced purchasing costs
- Lower accident rates
- Lower sickness and absence rates
- Greater awareness of workplace risks
- Greater health and safety compliance
- Reduced insurance premiums
To see how other companies such as Taylor Woodrow, Bam Nuttall and Siemens are improving productivity, safety and user acceptance with our SHOWA and SKYTEC gloves, take a look at our case studies. Additionally, see our Middle East Case Studies to find out how engaging their employees has helped Laing O'Rourke and Torishima.
To Sum Up
Effective hand protection is not about simply meeting the minimum requirements required by Health and Safety Law. Workers that feel valued, listened to and that are involved in the decision-making process by providing input and feedback will actively contribute to the health and safety culture. Win the hearts and minds of workers and the benefits can be felt way beyond pure workplace safety.
To discuss how the Globus Hand Protection Programme could benefit your organisation contact us on +44 (0) 161 877 4747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Leave a Comment