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Hand Injury & Epidemiology & Use of Gloves :

       Gloves are primarily designed to protect hands and fingers against any physical injury such as cuts, burns, punctures, abrasions, chemicals and frozen conditions.

  

      According to the data given by United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), acute traumatic hand injuries are quite common among workers in United States. Around 1 million injury cases visit the emergency department annually. However, employers in the United States are directed by law to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to every employee.

      In a study conducted on assessing factors that could control occupational hand injury, it has been found that a majority of the injuries could have been avoided or the severity could be reduced if the workers had used gloves at the time of injury. The study was conducted on 1166 injured workers who were recruited from 23 occupational health clinics in five northeastern states of United States. The risk of an acute traumatic hand injury could be reduced by about 60 percent while wearing gloves. Some of the tasks that were identified in the study and require greater use of gloves include manual materials handling, cutting nonfood items, clearing shavings and using force to open or close devices. A similar kind of study was conducted by BLS that also yielded identical results. Around 944 subjects participated in BLS study and were recruited from 23 states.

     While a tightly woven fabric glove can provide ample protection against lacerations and cuts, vinyl and polyethylene gloves can help in reducing the risk of allergic reactions among food handlers. However, gloves cannot provide significant protection to injuries resulting in crushes, avulsions, fractures, dislocations and amputations. Wearing a properly designed glove that offers maximum dexterity does help in minimizing injury risks.

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