Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, has launched a campaign entitled 'Oil is a Chemical'. The campaign aims to raise awareness of manufacturing industries about the health challenges which can result from exposure to oil. Daily exposure through bare hands or inadequate protective gloves (including gloves saturated with oil) when handling oily parts and components is very common in industry. The health hazards of work place oil exposure are often overlooked when focusing on the grip and the performance required of hand protection.
Proven health risks
Oil and lubricants are a contributing factor in the development of occupational skin disease (allergies and dermatitis) when absorbed through the skin. Some oil additives (in particular high levels of Dimethyl sulfoxide or polycyclic aromatics) are known to contribute to the development of cancer. Other additives include boric acid (recognised as a reproductive risk) and formaldehyde-releasing biocides (recognised as carcinogenic). Finally, during use, some oils become charged with particles of dangerous metals such as lead.
The result of inadequate gloves
Oil-resistant gloves are seen as thick, stiff and sweaty to wear. So workers prefer to wear more dexterous mechanical gloves, which can quickly saturate with oil and expose the skin, Risk of injury increases with oil-saturated gloves. Their tendency to stretch makes them more likely to be caught in machines and increases the effort required to grasp oily objects. Health, safety and productivity are compromised further when workers in quest of a sure grip use their bare hands.
New impermeable gloves
The launch of next generation Ansell HyFlex® range of advanced mechanical protection gloves means workers no longer need to compromise on protection in order to wear the right glove for oily tasks. The versatile general-purpose knit gloves combine an oil repellent impermeable outer layer which is thin and flexible and incorporates Ansell Grip Technology for exceptional grip on slippery, oily surfaces. They effectively bridge worker Personal Protective Equipment requirements between the Ansell single use and chemical resistant range offering.
Worker awareness is key
In the 'Oil is a Chemical' campaign, Ansell will provide advice, work place assessment surveys, checklists and seminars to help safety managers identify potential problems. Worker awareness materials will be available later in the campaign.
Ansell News Bureau