Wood has been used for thousands of years as a building material for a wide range of applications. The demand for finished lumber pushes manufacturers to produce goods as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, which has a direct impact on the thousands of employees working in lumber and plywood mills across the world.
Lumber manufacturing can be extremely hazardous work, and companies cannot afford to lose valuable production time because of injuries. The work environment in lumber mills makes it critical that safety teams constantly evaluate application-based hazards, and investigate PPE that reduces the likelihood of injury on the job.
Stopping splinter injuries
While wood remains a trusted building and construction material, it can be very dangerous to manufacture and process.
In the wood processing industry (handling dry lumber and veneer), wood splinters can have a devastating effect on worker safety and productivity. They range in size (as small as a needle to as large as a yardstick) and can be viciously sharp and jagged which poses a serious problem for production workers.
Safety professionals have a critical decision to make when choosing PPE for these production workers, as many existing products such as leather and Kevlar® do not have the ability to protect from sliver punctures.
Weyerhaeuser looks to HexArmor® to mitigate splinter puncture injuries
Forestry product giant Weyerhaeuser reached out to HexArmor® in search of PPE capable of reducing or preventing the frequency of recordable splinter injuries on laminate and veneer lines.
One Weyerhaeuser plant was experiencing 18 sliver injuries per month and had been unable to find a solution to this ongoing problem. The existing PPE was not doing its job, and Weyerhaeuser Safety Professionals were having trouble finding alternative PPE technologies to try – this is when they called HexArmor®.
HexArmor® worked directly with Weyerhaeuser’s safety team to explore the possible application of existing HexArmor® technologies in new products designed specifically for Weyerhaeuser production facilities.
HexArmor® designers took the feedback from the dry lumber and veneer production facilities and designed new PPE based on the specific needs, demands, and personal preferences of Weyerhaeuser workers.
HexArmor® PPE reduces puncture injuries to ZERO
The reason behind HexArmor’s success at Weyerhaeuser is the unique puncture and cut protection provided by SuperFabric® brand materials.
SuperFabric® delivers industry-leading ANSI/ISEA level A7-A9 cut resistance and provides puncture protection from wood slivers, metal burrs, and wire pokes.
With the introduction of HexArmor® gloves and arm guards to the Weyerhaeuser facility, recordable and first aid injuries in the laminate and veneer plant dropped from 18 injuries a month to ZERO!
The collaborative work between Weyerhaeuser’s employees and safety team along with HexArmor® developers resulted in new industry-leading protection for stopping splinters.
Solutions for veneer and dryer line
Laminate and veneer line workers in many large lumber and veneer companies preferred leather gloves, so HexArmor® created the Bandit® 5040 work gloves to meet their personal needs and demands.
While an interior layer of SuperFabric® protects hands from splinters, puncture wounds, and lacerations, the exterior leather shell provided the traditional grip and dexterity of leather that the workers wanted.
Solutions for maintenance
Maintenance workers need to have high levels of protection when repairing and maintaining blades and machinery.
HexArmor® arm and body protection
Because Kevlar® and leather arm guards and aprons were heavy, hot, and had been a constant source of heat rashes and skin irritations, turning to HexArmor’s SuperFabric® protection was an easy switch for the lumber production crews.
HexArmor® body protection proved to be lighter, easy to clean, and provided more protection than the competitors’ products.Download PDF