Gloves. Technically they are PPE, but should they be a universal requirement for arboriculture operations – like it is for head, ear, and eye protection?
Timber Warriors’ Safety Director says “YES,” gloves should always be worn; but some say there is not always a need. So far, OSHA and ANSI Z133 classify gloves as an exception to PPE; that for the most part PPE standards are “performance oriented.” Thus, according to OSHA, gloves are only needed when performing without them would be a hazard.
But that is the question – won’t performing without them always be a hazard? What hazard assessment does not call for hand protection? If you asked us, our answer would be: “There isn’t one.”
We recognize that (currently) OSHA is in last place when it comes to issuing standards that apply, specifically, to arborists – but still, Z133’s regulations on hand protection do resemble OSHA’s. The only marginal difference is that Z133 uses alternative phrasing: ‘would cause injury,’ rather than ‘would be a hazard.’
(We said the difference was marginal).
What’s Your Take?
There are far more questions than answers; so for now, we will leave the decision-making up to the arborists. But, we still want to hear your take. What do you practice, and why?