We all know it’s important to protect your hands while you’re working. But what does not wearing gloves or wearing the wrong gloves actually cost you or your company?
Most safety assessments find one of the biggest problems is not that workers aren’t wearing gloves…it’s that workers aren’t wearing the right gloves.
While it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it can lead to a range of unnecessary and hidden costs. This post will go over them in more detail and discuss the benefits of supplying the right gloves for you and your company.
1. The costs of hand injuries at work
The most important and obvious costs of your staff wearing the wrong gloves come from hand injuries. According to the US’s Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the average hand injury claim costs more than $6000. The costs include lost time, employee time off and compensation claims. The costs associated with reduced productivity due to injuries like this are harder to measure, but you can be sure the down time and lost time adds up quickly!
According to a recent report by Safe Work Australia, open wounds account for 28% of hand injuries that required hospitalization, followed by fractures. This shows how protection against sharp objects, including knives, is paramount in your workplace. Supplying staff with suitable cut resistant gloves will help us reduce the number of open wound injuries employees suffer.
2. The costs of using more gloves than you need too
Another significant cost your company may incur because your staff are not wearing the right gloves is higher usage and wastage. If a glove is not fit for purpose, the rate you wear through the glove is often much higher than it needs to be.
For example, a chilled DC we worked with recently was using up to 1200 cotton polka dot gloves a month. By upgrading to a more expensive but better suited glove, they were able to reduce their usage to 100 pairs per week. A 90% reduction!
3. The costs and impact on the operations of your company
We’ve already touched on the costs from lost time and down time that hand injuries have on your company. If the injured employee requires an extended time off, you may need to recruit and train new team members, and training is not cheap! Plus, you may need to provide social welfare for the injured workers.
Another potential cost of your staff not wearing gloves is product recalls. The potential of their hands contaminating the products they are handling is higher. For example, if the gloves collect dirt or if the employee suffers a cut, the contaminant on the product may lead to a full recall being required. This could cost your company thousands of dollars!
4. The other benefits of your staff wearing the right gloves
Wearing the correct gloves will bring serious cost benefits to your company, allowing you to fit more you’re your PPE budget whilst reducing the amount of waste your facility produces.
There are several other benefits, including increased productivity as staff are able to work effectively and safely. Having a good quality pair of gloves will likely give them a morale boost as well!
Finally, providing your staff with the right gloves ensures you comply with the WHS regulations in your country. Employers are required to provide PPE as a control measure in managing risk. Making sure the gloves you provide are certified to the EN ratings relevant to the tasks your staff carry out is also vital. You can learn more about that in this guide to glove EN standards.