Workers on recycling sorting lines are exposed to needles in waste streams every day, increasing the likelihood that a worker will come in contact with an exposed, contaminated needle.
HexArmor® saw an opportunity to engineer a solution for these sorters using its advanced technology and worked with large waste & recycling companies to spearhead an anti-needle program that has virtually eliminated needle injuries to date.
- Needle exposures can cost anywhere from $5,000 for initial evaluations to in excess of $36,000 per year for ongoing treatment 1-2
- 63% of injection drug users dispose of needles in their residential trash 3-4
- HexArmor® developed over 14 generations of hand protection to solve Waste Management’s needle injuries and continues to collaborate on further R&D
Rising number of needles in recycling streams creates the need for better PPE
Waste Management Inc.’s (WM) increased recycling and sorting demands brought workers in contact with sharps and needles hidden in plastic bottles and containers. Each year recycling workers are exposed to approximately two-to-three billion improperly disposed of needles.
Exposure to contaminated needles created an unacceptable health risk for employees and the company.
HexArmor® collaborates with WM to develop needle protection solutions
HexArmor® designers worked directly with WM’s safety team to create a series of protective gloves that had the capability to resist needle sticks and punctures, as well as cuts from broken glass shards, steel, wire, and wood splinters commonly encountered in recycling operations.
The collaborative nature of the HexArmor®/WM relationship led to the development of a mandated hand and arm protection program for recycle sorters that require operators and line workers to exclusively wear HexArmor® products while on the job.
SuperFabric® technology was the key to preventing needlesticks and punctures from sharps, as well as offering optimal resistance to cuts in a wide range of recycling and sorting tasks. SuperFabric® stopped needlesticks at the point of attack to protect workers’ health and safety.
In addition to developing a complete line of recycling and sorting gloves, HexArmor® has developed needle-resistant Arm Guards, which are now also required in the Waste Management Recycling Protection Mandate.
HexArmor® continues to collaborate with WM on improving current products, and engineering advanced solutions that offer superior protection and extended service in a wide range of waste handling and recycling applications.
HexArmor® was able to engineer 14 generations of hand and arm protection using feedback from Waste Management to eliminate needle injuries on recycle sorting lines across the U.S.
The ongoing relationship between the companies is leading to breakthroughs in advanced technology hand and arm protection in other areas of Waste Management’s core business like hauling operations.
The Sharpsmaster® II is the result of WM’s request for a single glove solution for needle protection on the sorting lines. Many sites were using a dual glove system, which was costly and didn’t give them the needed protection.
The Sharpsmaster® II is one of HexArmor’s most popular needle resistant products, and comes from a long lineage of collaborative feedback from end-users and safety professionals.
Many sorting facilities prefer a double glove system, where a user will wear the PointGuard® X underneath a latex-coated over-glove.
The advantage to the double glove system is that the liner does not wear out as fast as the cheaper over-glove, and protection is not sacrificed.
Sorting facilities mandated HexArmor needle-resistant arm protection after seeing how well the needle-resistant glove program was adopted.
The arm protection gives sorters an additional area of preventative protection from needles coming down the sorting line.Download PDF