If you wear leather, you should have an easy time removing it.
The American Leatherworkers Association (AILA) has approved a new regulation for the first time in its nearly 50-year history, saying it protects leatherworkers who have worn the same material for years.
“I have had leather work for 50 years and I have never once come into contact with leather,” says Heather K. Satterwhite, a registered nurse, who is the lead sponsor of the new rule.
“The new rule is going to make it really, really difficult for someone who has been working in leather for a long time to go in and remove the leather, even though it’s in their body.”
The new rule will apply to leatherworking and leather manufacturing facilities that have been in operation for a minimum of two years.
But it won’t apply to work that takes place on premises.
Leather is still made in some of the same facilities that produce paper, carpet, and rubber.
In fact, there are more than 5,000 leatherworking facilities across the country that still manufacture leather, including facilities in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
“This is about protecting the livelihoods of those who have been working with leather for decades,” says AILA Executive Director Michael P. Giannetti.
“We believe it is important that these industries be held accountable for their actions.”
For more information about the new regulation, click here.
AILA, an industry group that represents leather workers, says that its members have worn leather work gloves and boots for decades, but the industry has not been held to the same standard as the other types of footwear.
“It is disappointing that leatherworkers have to work with leather gloves and the only way to remove leather is to cut it,” says Giannucci.
“As leatherworkers, we are very protective of our health and well-being, and it is our duty to be able to safely remove our leather work gear, whether it’s gloves, boots, or belts, even when it is worn by another person.
If we have to wear gloves, why not wear them with other safety gear like safety glasses and eye protection?”
Leather is used for all types of work, from carpentry to textile and leather.
But when it comes to leather work, gloves are considered a special case.
That’s because when a worker wears a glove, the leather is wrapped around his fingers and the thumb, and that is then secured with a hook to the other hand, to prevent the glove from slipping off while removing the leather.
A leatherworker can use an extension cord to attach the glove to his belt or to the top of a harness, but if he doesn’t, he must wear a leather glove that has been properly cleaned.
“If a glove is dirty and there is no way to clean it, then we should be able have the glove and the belt cleaned at the same time,” says Satterwhites, who also serves as the AILA’s chairperson for the Leatherworkers Health and Safety Working Group.
“There is a lot of confusion about what is required of leatherworkers.
It is important to be clear with our members and with the public that this is the correct way to handle gloves and work gloves.”
AILA President and CEO John Giannini says that the new safety rule will provide leatherworkers with the ability to safely clean their leatherwork gear, but he cautions that it is still a new rule and that the current regulations are not a final decision.
“With all the advancements in technology, it is a testament to the leather industry that we can still produce beautiful and beautiful work gear with a few simple rules and a simple application of technology,” says Mr. Giamini.
“So while the current rule is the most effective way to safely treat leatherwork, there will always be times when we must use a glove and some other safety equipment, and we encourage our members to be as safe as possible while wearing leather.”
This is an update of an earlier version of this article.
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