Reducing Oilfield Impact Injuries
Designing high performance hand protection with global petro-chemical companies
For global petro-chemical service companies like ExxonMobil and Halliburton contractor employee hand injuries represented a disproportionate source of costly worker downtime and insurance claims. ExxonMobil initiated an in-depth study of hand-injuries and established safety glove guidelines and standards in 2008. Initial studies identified smash injuries as the leading cause of on-the-job hand injuries. Industry partner and contractor Halliburton, collaborating with ExxonMobil’s efforts, refined hand-injury research and discovered that while smash and pinch injuries were significant in oil field work (approximately 45% of all hand injuries), cut and puncture wounds also represented a higher than expected percentage of hand injuries (nearly 50% of all hand injuries) than initially thought.
SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS AND SETTING INDUSTRY STANDARDS
With ExxonMobil establishing industry safety standards for protective oil and gas field gloves, and Halliburton fully engaged in the hazard discovery process, the next logical step was to find a glove on the market capable of meeting the new industry standards, or locate a technical glove designer and manufacturer capable of engineering a safety glove capable of reducing or eliminating debilitating hand-injuries associated with the oil and gas drilling, transportation, construction and refining processes.
Research conducted by ExxonMobil and Halliburton, of safety gloves available on the market, revealed that most construction gloves offered little protection against cut, puncture, smash and pinch injuries. Some of the glove manufacturers contacted resisted modification of glove designs to meet the new industry standards due to lack of design and engineering assets or resistance to the costs involved in retooling production lines.
One company, however, welcomed the challenge of designing and engineering a technical glove to meet the demands of tough oil and gas field applications: HexArmor®.
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