Providing Cutting Edge PPE For The Paper And Pulp Industry
In the pulp and paper industry, maintenance workers and millwrights are constantly exposed to cut and laceration hazards on their hands and arms during slitter-blade change-outs and other blade maintenance operations. While reducing cuts and slashes was a priority, giving these specialized workers the exact dexterity and feel required to remove and replace blades efficiently was the key to providing the right PPE for the job.
The challenge of changing out sharp slitter blades
Changing out circular slitter blades like this is hazardous work for pulp and paper millwrights. Working in confined spaces surrounded by sharp blades increases the exposure to cuts and lacerations for both hands and arms – it also demands PPE that allows maximum dexterity and feel to perform blade change-outs quickly and efficiently.
HexArmor® finds solution for tough maintenance tasks
Working with paper-mill industry leaders like Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific, and Kimberly Clark, HexArmor® provided a full range of protective glove and arm guard solutions to mitigate millwright and maintenance crews’ risk of cuts and lacerations in handling and replacing straight edge doctor blades and circular slitter blades. HexArmor® discovered that maintenance workers had traditionally used leather gloves or gloves made of materials that offered no more than ISEA and CE Level 2 (less than 1000 grams) cut protection in these tasks. In cases where manufacturers had mandated improved PPE like Kevlar, trials of Kevlar gloves failed – rejected by unions and workers because of insufficient cut protection, poor fit, and unacceptable dexterity and grip characteristics.
Since maintenance workers and millwrights play such a critical role in keeping production lines running, having the right level of protection and dexterity is key to a stronger and safer paper and pulp facility. Slitter blades and other circular blades can come in many different sizes, weights, and can be saturated with grease or have no coating at all. With a variety of hazards in play, it is critical to keep the workers in the best protection for the application.
HexArmor® ensures the protection and quality of its PPE by testing to ISEA Level 5 Ratings for cut resistance, and also field tests products for industrial puncture protection from wires, wickers, slivers, and glass. Since dexterity and grip requirements vary by specific application, HexArmor® leveraged its relationships with industry leaders in paper and pulp mills to adjust recommendations based on company and plant specific needs.