Hand injuries have been dramatically reduced at underground mining contractor Byrnecut Mining’s operations at the Gwalia gold mine, in Western Australia, since the site’s 230 workers have adopted Ansell’s HyFlex 11-840 new-generation general purpose safety glove.
An increasing rate of hand injuries, including some serious injuries that resulted in absences from work for up to three months, was the catalyst for a review of Byrnecut Mining’s hand protection programme and glove policy and the subsequent introduction of the HyFlex 11-840.
The HyFlex 11-840 delivers EN abrasion Level 4 protection and features a durable Fortix nitrile palm coating that provides advanced abrasion protection. The breathable liner is a form fitting design that moulds to the hand for increased tactility and comfort.
The manual tasks carried out by mechanical fitters and service crews at the Gwalia gold mine present a constant source of hand hazards.
Service crewman undertake a variety of tasks, including installing services, moving pump lines and lifting and hanging ventilation duct work. A good glove is critical for these types of tasks, because without them hand injuries are common.
In this tough environment, tasks in the maintenance department are tough on gloves. When grease and oil coat the gloves, they can cease to be effective and operators’ hands can slip off tools.
A site maintenance supervisor also cites durability as a major issue: “Gloves have to be replaced fairly regularly to maintain grip. “Durability is a major issue for gloves under these conditions as a 12-hour shift deposits a lot of dirt, grit and grease onto the surface of a glove.
“By contrast, the 11-840 glove’s durability means that they last longer as they can be wiped clean and reused, rather than replaced, which also represents cost savings.
“Comfort is a major factor in encouraging people to keep gloves on their hands. “If a glove is not comfortable, our people tend not to wear it,” he says.
Feedback on the HyFlex 11-840 gloves has also been positive. Workers have cited that the rough finish of the nitrile palm coating delivers good grip, while the thin liner is comfortable during long shifts and provides good dexterity for “fiddly” jobs.
“They make my job a lot easier and are so comfortable you don’t feel as if you’re wearing gloves at all. “They are such a good fit, they feel like a second skin,” says an underground service crewman.
An underground pump fitter cites the importance of hand protection. “My hands are my tools of my trade. “A hand injury would certainly affect myself, my family and would impact on my career in the mining industry. A serious hand injury would mean a whole change of life for me. It’s imperative that I wear good gloves to limit the chance of injury.
“The new Ansell 11-840 glove certainly has better grip than those we have been wearing before. We can hold on to our tools a lot more easily, as well as our fasteners, nuts and bolts. You feel safer and more confident using these gloves,” he states.
Ansell, a global supplier of health and safety protection solutions, will be exhibiting at Electra Mining Africa.
Hall 9 Stand B22