Hand Protection | From Chemicals, Bacteria & Viruses
Using proper Hand protection is especially important when engaging in activities that may cause harm to your hands. Your hands serve as the primary way that you physically interact with the world, and so they must be protected. You can acquire protective gloves for all sorts of different hazards including caustic materials, blunt force, and microbial protection.
The most important thing for protecting yourself from infections, viruses, and bacteria is to ensure you are washing your hands with the best hand soap and that you are using the best nitrile gloves to protect your hands from your environment.
What Is Hand Protection?
Hand protection usually takes the form of safety gloves or hand hygiene, but anything that puts a layer of protection between your hands and your environment could be considered to be hand protection. Don’t overthink it, as I usually do. Hand protection is exactly what it sounds like.
A protection glove is not always the right choice for keeping your hands safe, you might instead settle for proper hand washing with antibacterial soap and that might be enough for the problems you are concerned about. Washing hands regularly is one of the best ways to protect yourself from microscopic threats.
Whether you are protecting your hands with physical materials or you are simply keeping them clean you are engaging in hand protection. Your hands are one of your primary tools for affecting change in your environment and the world so it is imperative that you keep the importance of hand protection in mind before you do something that may damage them.
Protecting your hands, or not doing so, can have lasting effects on your life that may not be noticed at first glance. Choosing not to wash your hands and then walking around, touching things all the time could result in you getting an infection that causes serious damage to your body and its functions.
Conversely, keeping your hands protected when climbing can keep them from fatiguing as quickly or sustaining injuries, which means you can train harder and thus perform better overall.
Use the Right Glove for Proper Protection
You will require different types of gloves for different situations. You must ask yourself, “what type of gloves protects your hands from hazardous chemicals?” if you are concerned about working in a lab environment with caustic materials.
If you are working with dangerous animals then you might consider wearing protective gloves that are resistant to piercing and crushing like the effects of an animal bite. But, if you are disposing of biohazardous materials then single use gloves should be worn instead.
If you were to reverse these two situations, you wouldn't get much benefit from the gloves you were wearing. Animals won't be stopped by thin-rubber gloves and if you dispose of biohazardous materials with chainmail protection gloves then you would be wasting quite a lot of money because you would also have to dispose of those gloves.
I once wore thin, cloth biking gloves while going out to shovel snow in the coldest part of winter. This was an especially egregious mistake because they did not provide any kind of insulation to keep my hands warm, which meant I not only had to deal with the full effects of the cold while I was outside, but I also was in quite a bit of pain when it came time to take them off.
This is why it is important to always be using the right hand safety equipment for the situation you are in and consider what kind of risks you will be dealing with and how to mitigate them before you begin a task. If you are always using the right kind of protection for your hands then you will never have to worry about receiving a career-ending or debilitating injury while working.
Types of Gloves
Types of gloves for hand protection will vary based on several things, but the primary point to consider when choosing them is whether they are intended to be used once and then disposed of or if they are meant to be used repeatedly for a specific task.
You can usually tell whether a glove is intended to be used multiple times based on the gloves materials. If it is a thicker material, it is probably meant to be used more than once. Thinner materials are more likely to be disposable and intended to protect your hands while performing a task and then disposed of afterward.
This is especially important because multi-use gloves are more expensive than disposable ones. If you use a pair of multi-use gloves for something that requires disposal afterward then you will be wasting a lot of money. On the other hand, disposable, single-use gloves are often meant to be cheap and are especially thin which means they are unlikely to protect you very well in situations that your hands will be under threat from physical harm.
Multi-Use Safety Glove
Multi-use safety gloves can take many forms. If you are working with dangerous objects or creatures like blades or dogs, you might consider wearing chainmail gloves to prevent the blades or teeth from puncturing your skin and damaging the muscles and ligaments in your hands.
If you spend a lot of time biking or climbing, you might consider getting a pair of gloves to increase friction and reduce blistering over time. Climbing can be brutal on your skin in the beginning before you start to develop calluses on your hands. Relatively thin cloth gloves with abrasive material on the fingers and palms might help to prevent blistering and increase your grip strength.
You might consider wearing mittens or gloves made out of insulating materials while working in the cold such as a freezer or outside during winter to keep your hands warm and dexterous.
One of the most unpleasant feelings I have ever experienced regarding my hands is when they stiffen up and start to ache due to the cold.
Left alone for too long, this can also result in frostbite which can result in permanent damage, so you definitely want to consider picking up some warming gloves.
Hand Hygiene Basics
The basics of hand hygiene are very simple. You should regularly take time during the day to wash your hands. After you touch something that might be carrying bacteria, before you touch something intended to go on, in, or near your face, after using the bathroom, these are all times when you should be washing your hands.
You should also ensure that you are washing them properly. Make sure you are lathering them fully, wash under your fingernails and between your fingers as well as the back and front of your hands.
Once you have lathered fully, rinse them and dry them and you should be fine.