Best Practices for Hand Protection in Metalworking
Working with metal can be both rewarding and hazardous. If you’re a metalworker, you understand this better than anyone else. From welding and cutting to bending and grinding, there are plenty of ways to injure yourself while working with metal. Your hands, in particular, are always at risk of injury. That’s why it’s vital to know the best practices for hand protection in the metalworking industry. Protect yourself so you can keep doing what you love with these handy safety tips.
Always Wear Gloves
The first and most important step in hand protection is wearing industrial safety gloves. Make sure that you wear gloves specifically designed for metalworking. Various types of gloves are available for different tasks, so choose the appropriate gloves based on the activity you are performing.
For example, if you’re working with hazardous chemicals, you need chemical-resistant gloves to protect your skin from spills and splashes. On the other hand, you need gloves that offer cut resistance without sacrificing your grip and dexterity when using cutting instruments. Always wear gloves that fit snugly to get the best level of comfort and protection possible.
Practice Good Ergonomics
Proper hand position is essential to prevent injuries. Position your hands correctly when using a tool or machine. Make sure you have proper grip strength by using tools with handles that fit your hands. Avoid awkward angles that put unnecessary strain on your wrists. Also, take breaks regularly and stretch your hands and wrists to prevent cramps, stiffness, and muscle fatigue.
Avoid Loose Clothing
Another important metalworking tip for protecting your hands is to avoid wearing loose clothing, especially baggy sleeves. While they are great for protecting your forearms, loose or baggy clothing can get caught in machinery or tools, leading to serious injuries. Always wear fitted clothing and pay special attention to your sleeves and cuffs to prevent any loose threads or clothing from getting caught.
Keep Your Hands Dry
Moisture can make your gloves less effective and increase the risk of injury. If you’re working in a humid environment, always keep a towel handy to dry your hands and gloves regularly. Sweaty hands can also make it difficult to grip tools, so dry your hands thoroughly before handling tools and materials.