The prevalence of needlestick injuries in recycling, waste, water, and law enforcement industries is steadily increasing. Without proper protection, workers are susceptible to life-changing needlestick injuries that can lead to bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Proper hand protection is essential.

The Challenge

A larger water company in the UK covers both urban and rural locations. Due to the wide range of job functions within water companies, employees are regularly exposed to discarded hypodermic needles and sharps. Needles are sometimes thrown over fences into sites, left in picnic areas around reservoirs, or, more commonly, dropped into irrigation valve chambers or hydrant chambers along trails or sidewalks.

Wherever possible, the company's staff is trained to use tongs, tweezers, or scoops to pick up sharps, rather than a gloved hand.

However, where this isn't possible, and gloves are required, the gloves must provide high dexterity to ensure that wearers keep them on. If gloves are uncomfortable or lack movement and flexibility, they do not get worn, leaving employees exposed to serious hazards.

The team had previously used a well-known competitor's product which lacked flexibility and dexterity. Due to their rigid design, the staff often took them off because they found it difficult to pick up needles while wearing them.

The Process

Representatives of HexArmor® worked with the company both on-site and at conferences to educate them on the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard. They demonstrated how SuperFabric® brand materials in HexArmor® products provide proven, industry-leading needlestick resistance while maintaining dexterity.

The Trial+Solution

The water company started a trial with HexArmor® products. After the initial trials, they received several "very good" product approvals from their employees concerning HexArmor needlestick solutions.

The company approved products from HexArmor®, including the SharpsMaster HV® 7082 and the Hercules® NSR 3041, because of their needlestick protection, the range available for various applications, and the dexterity of the gloves.

The Feedback

The water company's safety advisor stated, "Users within the business regard these gloves as being leading-edge and good quality. They provide a higher level of dexterity than previously experienced, and together with the increased protection have improved staff confidence. We are always looking for higher-quality products enabling our employees to carry out their roles safely."

The Future

Based on the water company's current experiences and their success with the HexArmor® range of products, the company is looking at future collaboration when new or innovative hand protection becomes available, or when they have a specific need based on their industry requirements.

"It's good to know there is a proactive company we can approach to discuss our specific needs," concluded the water company's safety advisor.

For Potential Needle Puncture Handling Injuries

The SharpsMaster HV® 7082 is extremely resistant to needles and cuts at the highest level and has a nitrile coating for extra protection against needles, oil, liquids, and grease. It is made with three layers of SuperFabric® brand material to provide even greater resistance to needlestick hazards.

The Hercules® NSR 3041 is a heavy-duty, fully cut-resistant safety gauntlet glove. The two layers of SuperFabric® brand material provides optimum cut resistance to protect against sharp metals, wires, wood, and glass and delivers the best possible protection against cut and needle hazards to hand, fingers, and wrists

Want to see how HexArmor® can help keep your workers safe from needlestick hazards and increase employee compliance? Request a trial today.

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