Workers in many roles may come into contact with substances or conditions that pose a risk of harm to their hands or arms. If you can’t reduce these risks in some other way, you must use personal protective equipment (PPE) to do so.
Risks to arms and hands
The types of hazard that may cause harm to the arms and hands include:
- temperature extremes
- cuts and punctures
- dangerous substances such as chemicals
- electric shock
- skin infection
- disease or contamination - see diseases, infections and allergies in the workplace
- vibration - see safety of workplace machinery, equipment and tools
Types of hand and arm protection
The types of equipment that you might use to protect hands and arms include:
- elbow protectors
If your employees need PPE, you must give it to them free of charge. Self-employed people must get it for themselves.
What should I look for?
You need to ensure the equipment is up to the job and does not add to the risk. Consider what the wearer will need the equipment for and whether it is compatible with other equipment. Does it need to be fireproof or strong enough to prevent piercing by sharp objects, for example?
Maintenance should include regular cleaning and checks for wear and tear. See maintain personal protective equipment.