Fit for purpose hand protection a priority for Toxfree.
Fit for purpose hand protection a priority for Toxfree.
Waste management company implements robust task-specific hand protection program
Melbourne, Australia, December 2015 – Toxfree’s waste and industrial services division undertakes the collection, recycling, and management of solid, liquid and hazardous waste. Services include industrial cleaning, asset maintenance, high-pressure water jetting, vacuum loading, tank cleaning and range of technologies to remove hazardous and industrial waste.
“Tasks performed by our industrial services operators include handling wire ropes, hoses, clips, high-pressure water equipment and many more, all of which require hand protection”, said Rodney Hall, Toxfree’s Health Safety and Quality Environment Manager.
“Typical injuries that may be sustained include cuts, punctures from cleanup site steel chemical contact. We operate throughout Australia and have 1,100 workers who are required to wear hand protection.
“In the past, our people had been using leather riggers’ gloves, however these did not perform well in terms of hand protection. Nationally, our people were experiencing 15 to 20 injuries annually, equating to one to two instances of injury per month at one of our locations throughout the country. Most injuries were flesh wounds and cuts.
“The frequency and type of and injuries being sustained was unacceptable and this initiated a review of Toxfree’s hand protection policy.
Glove trials help to find the right fit for workers
“We undertook an extensive trial program which involved the assessment of many glove brands, size range, fit and materials. We didn’t factor in cost, as we wanted to ensure our people would have the benefit of the most appropriate fit-for-purpose protection for specific tasks.
“A comprehensive glove trial was necessary due to the scope and type of task that workers are called upon to perform as well as the very broad range of ambient and climatic conditions in which our people work.
“Workers in Darwin experience extreme heat and humidity and disliked wearing gloves because they felt their hands would be cooler without them. In Tasmania colder temperatures are an issue for much of the year, so clearly the same glove solution would not suit both climatic conditions.
“Considerable resistance to cultural change was encountered in some areas. We needed to overcome entrenched attitudes from workers in the more remote areas of Queensland and Western Australia where the wearing of gloves for hand protection had not been general practice.
“We thoroughly consulted with our people who understood their role in providing feedback in selecting the right type of hand protection. Ultimately the glove policy and assessment process support we received from staff was surprisingly cooperative and enlightening, with constructive input that helped us find the right solutions.
“The availability of improved glove engineering and materials technology has been very helpful and fundamental to helping us change old attitudes and resistance to wearing gloves.
Improving the culture of compliance with an on-the-job risk assessment guide
“From the time our hand protection policy was implemented, all staff were required to carry gloves and use them while performing their tasks. Operators are not permitted to remove gloves to carry out any tasks.
“Toxfree’s hand protection policy aims to specify a minimum of Cut Level 3 or 4, however every task people perform is risk assessed prior to commencement. All our sites operate differently. Operators are issued with a job code in the morning and they select the style of glove needed for the task they are performing that day.
“A campaign has been implemented to improve workers’ knowledge of risk and better risk management. We have also undertaken considerable effort to advance Toxfree’s PPE culture with a focus on wearing gloves.
“All our people carry a compact laminated Toxfree Risk Assessment Guide that lets them carry out a risk assessment on the job and very quickly determine the type of glove they need for that job. The Toxfree risk matrix has really helped our people identify risks and to select the right type of protection. As we are a mining contractor, risk assessment helps ensure that as the responsible contractor, we are fully compliant with the safety requirements of the mine operator.
A suite of fit for purpose hand protection solutions delivers on all fronts
“Since implementing our glove policy in conjunction with new types of gloves, the severity of injuries has dropped dramatically. The injuries sustained now are generally just minor cuts or compression injuries. Even these injuries are quite minor because we are using more advanced protection.
“Many of our workers changed their desire for a loose fitting glove, which they felt would enable them to move their fingers more easily, to really appreciating the comfort of a firm fitting glove that reduces the risk of being accidentally caught by equipment or machinery. The fact our new gloves are well fitted and comfortable has really encouraged compliance with our glove policy.
“After an exhaustive search for a range of gloves that best fitted the needs of our people, we found that Ansell HyFlex® cut resistant gloves possessed the right combination of protection and comfort across the styles we selected. Those we are using are HyFlex 11-624 and 11-927.
“The dexterity and comfort these gloves provide have converted operators who previously baulked at the notion of wearing protective gloves are now happy to keep them on their hands.
“Since introducing these gloves, we have discovered they last longer than those we used previously. In the past, some of our people would be discarding gloves at the end of the day, however the Ansell gloves continue to provide protection for 3 to 5 days before they need changing. This increased glove durability has enabled us to reduce our hand protection costs”, Rodney concluded.
The company was established and listed on the Australian securities exchange (ASX) in 2000 and has experienced substantial growth during this time, achieved through acquisitions, new green-field developments and organic growth of its existing businesses. From an employee base of 20 in the year 2000 and operating from two locations in Kwinana and Port Hedland, Toxfree today employs over 1,100 people and provides national services from over 57 locations Australia wide.
Safety Is Our First Consideration at G&S Engineering Services
Queensland, Australia, November 2015 –G&S Engineering Services Pty Ltd provides a diverse range of asset management services that span manufacture, construction and maintenancein the mining resources, energy and infrastructure industries.
Tough approach pays safety dividend for glass fabricator.
In an industry where people historically were not required to wear gloves, Chevron discovered the introduction of a mandatory glove policy represented a challenge. There existed an attitude of “nothing has happened to me, so why do I have to wear gloves?
Veteran carpenter and joiner Bruce Tubnor understands the importance of hand safety. After 50 years in the building trade, he recalls how hard it was to do simple jobs wearing traditional leather riggers gloves, like picking up a nail for instance. Hear what Bruce has to say about Ansell’s latest high-tech gloves and learn why, after a long search, he chose the HyFlex® 11-840.
Backwell IXL is one of Australia’s oldest manufacturing success stories. The company has been providing metal stamping, metal finishing, roll forming and assembly services to the automotive industry for more than 150 years. For Daryl Perrett, Operations Leader in the pressings, coatings and roll mills area, hand safety is critical.
Ansell HyFlex gloves help stop a pain in the glass at AGC
AGC Flat Glass Czech, manufactuer of quality glass providing protection from heat, cold, noise, fire, intruders and accidents, conducted an in-depth modernisation program on its production equipment.
TouchNTuff® the safety solution at SFF Group
Sweden’s SKF Group, with 100 production units worldwide across three divisions – Industry, Automotive and Services - is a leading provider of joints, mechatronics and lubrication systems in the bearings market.
Ansell Guardian transporting zero hand injuries
An American transport manufacturer, alarmed at the frequency of hand injuries, called in Ansell Guardian for an assessment.
Guardian, a comprehensive work safety savings and profitability improvement program, was implemented at the transport company’s two sites in different US states.
Work injuries plummet more than 80 per cent
At the company’s request, Ansell conducts its Guardian assessments at pilot sites, with manufacturing processes identical at all locations.
Ansell Guardian is a comprehensive cost savings and profitability improvement process that analyses seven distinct cost drivers which impact on a company's day-to-day operations. The goal is to create solutions consolidated into one package and applied company-wide.