In April of 2015, a Californian solar farm was hit by a tornado and sustained heavy damage. The 350 workers that were on-site daily to repair the broken photovoltaic panels and modules faced constant cut and puncture threats due to the panels' glass and metal construction.
Recurring injuries with standard PPE
The safety director at the solar panel company tested a number of different generic glove options ranging from leather to cotton to knit-dip to help protect their workers. When these options were not stopping the daily cuts and scrapes, they reached out to HexArmor® for a solution.
HexArmor® worked with the safety director and suggested an initial trial with our 9000 Series™, a high-cut, knit-dip option typically used in glass handling. After testing the 9010, they found the dip melting due to the high temperature of the glass and metal. Realizing we needed to see the applications first hand, a HexArmor® rep headed into the field to determine a more suitable option.
More about solar fields: Solar fields are the large-scale application of photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert light directly to electricity. These panels are made of interconnected silicon cells that have been put into a modular formation and covered by glass. Solar fields contain hundreds of PV panels and can cover hundreds of acres.
Chrome Series® 4027 eliminates injuries, provides needed protection
After seeing the applications and hazards, a high-cut glove with back-of-hand impact protection was recommended.
Through several trials, HexArmor® and the safety director found a solution. The Chrome Series® 4027, with ANSI/ISEA cut level A8 SuperFabric® brand material in the palm, impact protection, and a highly durable TP-X® palm was the glove of choice.
The solar panel company implemented this glove, and after four months of use, has experienced zero injuries. In addition to a complete reduction in worksite injuries, feedback from the workers has been very positive, with one reporting, “these are simply the best gloves I’ve ever used.”
Others also acknowledged the back-of-hand impact protection, saying, “I had a piece of metal pinch down on my knuckle, but the impact protection kept it from hurting!”Download PDF