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Safety Considerations in Automotive

Ranging from parts production plants to assembly plants, automotive manufacturing consists of making the parts and bodies of cars, motorcycles, trucks and other motor vehicles used across the world. Automotive workers are often exposed to hazards including dangerous machinery, chemicals, equipment and an arduous work environment.

Did you know: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have determined workers in automobile and motor vehicle manufacturing environments experience higher rates of injury and illness than workers in most other industries(1). At Ansell, we are committed to protecting automotive workers. We go beyond regulatory compliance to ensure our product portfolio fully protects against the specific hazards these workers face.

Identify hazards and reduce workplace injuries with a no cost AnsellGUARDIAN® assessment.

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INDUSTRY HAZARDS

Workers in Automotive environments are exposed to an abundance of hazardous elements from harmful chemicals to handling sharp or abrasive materials. They regularly use their hands and spend much of their time bending, lifting, and performing repetitive tasks. As a result, these workers are exposed to different hazards every day.

If the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is not worn, injuries may occur which can lead to an exponential growth of lost or restricted work days. To ensure maximum level of safety, it is important to understand some of the common hazards workers face in this industry.

Ansell Solutions

Automotive workers are at a high risk for experiencing cuts or lacerations while performing their daily activities. They are exposed to glass, dangerous machinery, and other sharp objects and edges where cut and puncture injuries are likely to occur. According to BLS, roughly 30% of all workplace injuries every year are from cuts and lacerations, with 12% of those occurring on the hand(2). Selecting the right PPE with the appropriate cut level protection is extremely important.

Ansell’s cut resistant gloves are made with innovative technologies to provide outstanding cut protection with enhanced dexterity, grip and comfort. INTERCEPT™ Technology is a proprietary cut resistant yarn that provides a lighter weight and more comfortable alternative to other branded yarns.

When working in a plant, automotive workers are regularly exposed to oil-related tasks and require strong grip. Workers need surface barrier protection to prevent oils and other lubricants from making contact with the skin as well as enhanced grip to mitigate muscle fatigue.

Ansell offers ANSELL GRIP™ Technology, a coating treatment that minimizes the force required to grip dry, oily and wet tools or materials, reducing hand and arm fatigue while improving dexterity, safety and productivity.
Vehicles have become more complex over the years and now involve more parts and electrical components than required in the past. The electric vehicle (EV) market has grown rapidly since 2017 with EVs becoming a more viable option for new car buyers. This has led to an increased need for protection from electric shock, arc flash and other heat-related injuries.
When working in automotive manufacturing, grip and abrasion resistance are essential to hand safety. A compromised grip increases hand fatigue as the muscle becomes overexerted. If a glove isn’t providing the necessary grip, workers may remove their gloves and expose their hands to significant hazards. According to OSHA, 70% of hand injuries in the United States occur when people are not wearing gloves(3). That is why Ansell features ANSELL GRIP™ Technology; which is a coating treatment that minimizes the force required to grip dry, oily and wet tools or materials, relieving hand and arm strength caused by poor grip. FORTIX™ Technology applies a thin, resilient and breathable nitrile foam coating to knitted gloves - dramatically extending their working life and improving their comfort.
Throughout production, automotive workers are exposed to a variety of harsh chemicals including acids, bases, adhesives or solvents. Without proper PPE, workers may experience chemical burns or any other type of skin irritation. Repetitive and prolonged exposure to these chemicals can prove toxic to the worker and severely affect their skin or respiratory system. Thick, nonporous PPE is needed that will prevent liquids from leaking inside and touching the skin, with the durability to withstand scrubbing and sharp corners. Ansell’s industry-leading chemical protection portfolio includes solutions with varying levels of resistance against acids, organic and inorganic chemicals, and biological agents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), musculoskeletal disorders accounted for nearly half of the injuries within the Automotive manufacturing industry which resulted in time away from work in 2018(4). These disorders are often caused by repetitive movements, overexertion of the muscle, and improper positioning while working. Selecting the right ergonomic PPE can help reduce the risks of damage to bones and joints. Gloves designed with Ansell‘s proprietary ERGOFORM™ Ergonomic Design Technology have been proven to effectively minimize discomfort from prolonged repetitive hand movements, enabling workers to work confidently and comfortably for longer.
When maintaining and operating machinery with rotating and pneumatic parts, such as forklifts and conveyors, workers are faced with the risk of crush and pinch injuries to their hands. Even easy tasks such as shutting a truck door can end up in a pinch point injury. Ensuring workers consistently wear the proper hand protection throughout the day can reduce the risk of accidents and incidents. Ansell‘s Ringers Impact Protection System protects workers against the risk of impact while providing superior comfort and dexterity.
As a result of COVID-19, workplaces must consider the need to protect against the spread of illness and viral infection. Ansell offers a wide range of solutions that comply with the World Health Organization’s guidance regarding infection prevention and control. In order to make an informed decision, product purchasers and users should stay abreast of the latest and most complete information regarding appropriate PPE to protect against COVID-19 and other viruses in their specific environments and applications.

Tools & Resources

August 23, 2021

Electric vehicle hazards

Care should be taken when working with EVs in any capacity, including those working in accident recovery including first responders, clean-up crews and tow truck operators. The breadth of injury risk requires provision of a suitable spectrum of PPE types including clothing and hand protection.
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