In 2011, official figures (1) highlight an increase of work accident and lost time among the 19 million workers:
- 670,000: Total of all lost-time accidents (+1.8% vs 2010)
- 38,368,115: Number of lost working hours (+3% vs 2010)
- €3273: Average cost of lost-time accidents (including occupational diseases)
- €96,630: This is the cost in France of Permanent Incapacity (PI) in the case of more than 10% of incapacitating injuries to the hand. These figures vary according to the socio-professional category(Official Journal: decree dated 4-12-2013)
Regarding the breakdown of occupational accidents leading to permanent disablement depending on the area of injury, we know that 21% concerns hand injuries.
Over and above these facts and figures, direct and indirect costs are often underestimated, or even unknown. According to studies carried out on the subject, it is interesting to know that the direct/indirect cost ratio may reach a level of 1 out of 6.
Therefore, prevention is a key factor for reducing the number of casualties. Moreover, an accident or even a death is a form of important social and economic trauma that affects everyone involved, the company, the employer and the employee, everyone is affected.
International safety association study that with a relevant safety programme and risks prevention, 71% of arm and hand injuries could have been prevented with relevant personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically Cut Protection gloves. Indeed, wearing the right cut protective glove makes the difference to protect workers from a variety of threats: cuts and lacerations from the rough and sharp edges of building materials such as glass, bricks and roofing, metal sheets
WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE CUT PROTECTION LEVEL NEEDED?
To evaluate a glove cut level in EU, manufacturers use the EN 388: 2003 standard (Coup test machine). However, it is very common that gloves that are blended with fibre glass reduces the impact of the cut test by dulling of the blade. The range of performance that gloves can score and still qualify for EN388 cut level 5 is so varied that the European Standard stated that when looking for high levels of cut protection (EN388: level 4 and 5), considering the results of other test methods, such as ISO 13997 test method, is an alternative to cross-validate a glove cut level performance.
In compliance with tests to ISO 13997standards (demo video, this value must be expressed as the cutting load in Newtons (N). This test method concerns the pressures exercised on fibres when cutting risks are high. To provide better individual protection against cuts, SHOWA has been innovative by creating its own anti-cut fibres for protecting hands, such as Hagane Coil™ used in the S-TEX Series. This patented fibre combines Hagane stainless steel with polyester and/or aramid fibres to provide high levels of protection against cuts ranging from 17.5 Newton’s / level D to 35 Newton’s/ level F as per standard ISO 13997
In conclusion, for health and safety managers who want to reduce cut injuries and mainly for high cut resistance needs, it is important to keep in mind that all cut test methods can show important differences in results, related to variability in test machines, strength exerted on the samples, sharpness of the edge of the blade.
As matter of fact, SHOWA, as a true manufacturer, recommends you to always ask for the alternative ISO 13997 test results as complementary information to take a more informed decision about hand protection against cut hazards before buying any cut protective gloves to avoid placing the life of workers in danger.