The work in the oil and gas industry comes with a high risk of hand injuries. Any similar heavy industrial work is pretty risky but this can be prevented with competent protective equipment.
To select the right kind of impact gloves or safety gloves, one needs to understand the exact kind of machinery they’ll be working with. Workers here deal with heavy tools, drills, chains in a fast-paced environment all day. Presumably, in industries such as these, contamination with oil and greasy substances is inevitable. The oil lingering on the heavy tools makes it harder to grip which increases the risk of cuts and smashes. Therefore, the kind of potential damage oilfield workers has to handle needs gloves that are oil-resistant and sturdy enough to protect hands from fracturing.
Hand Injury Statistics in the Oil and Gas Industry
It’s true that whatever job you do, your hand is the main tool. You’re going to need your hand the most whether it’s a desk job, construction work, mining, or if you’re working in an oilfield. Hand and finger incidents make up more than 50% of physical injuries in the oil and gas industry.
To help you get the right scenario of hand injuries in the oil and gas industry, here is a chunk of statistics taken from the Occupational Health & Safety Magazine:
- 7% of all injuries are cut and lacerations, of which 13% are considered serious.
- 80% of hand allergies and irritations are caused by exposure to chemicals.
The injuries happened in the first place because the workers claim that they were not wearing gloves at the time of the accident.
Apart from depending totally on impact gloves in an oilfield, there are a few ways one can prevent physical injuries. Safety training, right operation, and advanced machinery are all important factors that need more attention.
Choosing the right impact gloves for oilfield work
As the work deals with heavy tools, flexible thermoplastic rubber can give the right amount of protection and absorb heavy impact. Observe that the material covers the knuckles, fingertips, and back portion of the hands so that your hand gets full protection.
Also, oilfield workers are subject to water, oil, and petrochemicals. Make sure that the gloves you choose are waterproof and resistant to petrochemicals and also provide good grip in wet and oily environments.
What are cut-resistant gloves?
Cut-resistant gloves are a kind of safety gloves that can resist a longitudinal cut up to a certain amount of pressure. But don’t confuse them with puncture-resistant gloves which are able to withstand sharp, pointed piercing pressure.
Cut-resistance materials used to make gloves
Each brand has a separate name for the material they use for their gloves. Regardless of this fact, 98% of the cut resistant gloves available are chiefly made of these three materials:
- Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Yarn
- Para-aramid Yarn
- Steel Mesh
The impact gloves used in an oilfield are mostly made of UHMWPE and Para-aramid. As usual, either of them has its own set of pros and cons. The section below contains a brief description of these two materials.
Being about 40% stronger than para-aramids, the UHMWPE makes an excellent material choice for gloves that need high levels of cut protection. The material is well-flexible, lightweight, and feels comfortable to the hand. It also resists, chemicals, abrasion, water, and UV light which are all exposed to a worker at an oilfield.
The only downside to this material is that it is a poor heat insulator. Due to this, it needs additional insulation for cold weather or during winter which makes it bulky.
Many say that para-aramids are five times stronger than steel and are flame-resistant. The gloves made of this material are easily washable. Oilfield work always involves greasy and dirty objects, so washing the gloves is mandatory after each session.
Superior insulating properties make para-aramid gloves a safe choice in cold environments. So, workers who work in oilfields located in colder regions of the world can safely choose these gloves.
Note that para-aramids are not great for working with abrasive materials and strong chemicals as they have weak chemical performance.