Western Kentucky University

Environmental Health and Safety - Hand Protection

Hand Protection

Occupational hand injuries are the most frequent body part injured at work and often require treatment in hospital emergency rooms, according to the ASSE.  Hands and fingers need protection from injuries and other hazards at WKU. 

  • Absorption of harmful substances into the skin
  • Severe cuts, lacerations, abrasions, or punctures
  • Chemical, heat, or electrical burns
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Bloodborne pathogens

Gloves provide an effective barrier between the hand and hazard.  Select gloves designed to protect against the specific job hazard.  No gloves protect against all chemicals.  Always check the MSDS of the substance you are working with for special instructions.

  • Insulated gloves protect against heat and cold
  • Neoprene, rubber, or vinyl protect against chemicals
  • Special insulated rubber gloves protect against electrical shock and burn
  • Metal mesh protect against sharp objects
  • Leather gloves protect against rough surfaces 
  • Cotton gloves help with grip, dirt, and splinters

Always inspect gloves before wearing for any damage.  Make sure the gloves cover your hands completely with a snug, comfortable fit. 

For additional information or assistance, please contact Environment, Health and Safety (270) 745-2395.  

A Guide to Hand Protection on the Northern Safety Co. website

 Last Modified 5/9/14