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Utilities & Public Works

Utilities & Public Works

Safety Considerations in Utilities
and Public Works

Safety protocol and appropriate PPE is especially important for workers in the utilities and public works industries, with the sector having a recordable incidents rate of 3.5%, above the 3.1% average. Public utilities boasts a higher rate at 5.3%.

The industry also has a need for increased job-skill training. In a 2019 survey, utility workers were greater than 50% more likely to express concern over training or to worry about injury. This supports taking action to identify and equip utility workers with the right safety solutions for the job hazards they face.

INDUSTRY HAZARDS

Overall, more than 10% of injuries in the utility and public works industry occur to the hand, second only to injuries to the lower back. The utility workforce encounters many occupational hazards due to varying tasks, including construction, operation, and extensive maintenance activities across electric power, natural gas, steam or water supply and sewage removal.

Ansell offers an expansive portfolio of protection solutions to guard against hazards such as cut, electrical, and impact risks. Additionally, Ansell's chemical hand and body protection safeguard utility workers exposed to chemical splash hazards, while Ansell's innovative technologies focus on ergonomic and overall health and wellness to prevent fatigue and aggravation.

Ansell Solutions

Workers in the utility sector use tools that leave them exposed to cut hazards from sharp edges intended for cutting wire, pipe and other materials, and may encounter jagged or broken edges that can cause cuts and lacerations while working with waste or other raw materials.

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. ANSELL GRIP™ Technology is a coating treatment that minimizes the force required to grip tools or materials, improving safety and productivity.
In addition to utility hazards, extended shifts and high levels of interaction with hand tools require a focus on ergonomic grip and comfort to prevent hand injuries such as muscular fatigue and strains. 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 utilities and public works infrastructures, tools and equipment can expose workers‘ hands to the risk of abrasion and scrapes as a result of contact with moving parts or external elements such as brush or debris. Ansell's FORTIX™ Technology enhances the coating performance with a resilient polymer formulation to extend the working life of the glove while improving worker comfort.
When tasked with public water operation, maintenance and delivery, a common hazard faced will be the handling of chemical treatments to ensure clean water. This exposes utility workers to chemical liquid or chemical splash hazards that can result in severe burns to extremities. Additionally, sewage and waste management exposes workers to risk of chemical splash. Ansell’s industry-leading chemical protection portfolio includes solutions with varying levels of resistance against acids, organic and inorganic chemicals, and biological agents.
During construction and maintenance of utility and public works infrastructure, workers operating heavy machinery with moving parts or pneumatic equipment put their hands at risk of crush and pinch impacts. Many tasks include the use of large tools and heavy materials, further exposing hands to hazards which can lead to devasting injuries if not properly protected. Ansell's Ringers Impact Protection System protects workers against the risk of impact while providing superior comfort and dexterity.
Constructing and maintaining power generating and transporting infrastructure exposes utility workers to risk of electrical shock and flame. While working around electricity, it is important to practice lockout tagout procedures when performing tasks, as this is the greatest control against electrical hazards. Workers should also wear appropriately rated arc flash and flame resistant gloves and PPE.
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

Ansell and Ringers Impact Protection System

As part of Ansell's safety solutions, Ringers' leading impact protection gloves are designed specifically for common tasks performed by utility workers daily. View our video to see why Ringers is Built for Impact.
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