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Ansell Launches National Construction Worker Hand Safety Month at the 2009 National Hardware Show

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RED BANK, NJ — To draw attention to the risks facing construction workers' hands and their need for proper protection, Ansell Protective Products, Inc. today announced the inaugural kick-off of National Construction Worker Hand Safety Month at the 2009 National Hardware Show. Now in its 64th year, the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas is the leading event for the hardware industry, attracting a worldwide audience of more than 27,000 building and construction industry professionals each year.

"In 2007 alone, the construction industry allocated nearly $400 million to disability spending for preventable hand injuries," said Sean Sweeney, senior market development manager for Ansell. "Furthermore, market research has indicated that despite OSHA mandates for personal protective equipment (PPE), an alarming number of construction workers continue to perform their work tasks barehanded, putting them at risk for costly and potentially devastating injuries."

Recognizing an urgent need for action, Ansell, the world's leading manufacturer of protective gloves and a long time advocate for hand safety across all trades, is dedicating the month of May as National Construction Worker Hand Safety Month. Beginning this year, Ansell will use this month to promote hand safety awareness as thousands of construction professionals across the country prepare for the peak of building season.

In addition to reinforcing the importance of proper hand protection for the welfare of both the workers and the industry as a whole, National Construction Worker Hand Safety Month is intended to educate construction professionals about important factors - from ergonomics to cut resistance - that should be considered to best choose a comfortable, job-appropriate hand protection product.

As an added effort to promote hand safety awareness throughout the month, Ansell will post weekly construction safety tips, OSHA facts and construction-related articles in the Construction Group on its Online Safety Community - the first online community created exclusively for the workplace safety industry. Designed specifically for safety managers, foremen, construction workers and anyone with a vested interest in workplace safety, the community is a free social network that enables workers to connect with other minds in their respective industries to network, share ideas and catch up on the latest safety news.

Ansell also recently introduced its Hand Protection Centers at Menards retail locations nationwide, which feature a variety of application-specific products tailored to meet the unique needs of construction applications ranging from general construction and carpentry to plumbing and painting. The centers offer construction professionals a one-stop destination for best-in-class hand protection products, which are color coded to specific "Duty Levels" to help workers easily and quickly select the most appropriate level of protection. Ansell's Hand Protection Centers also feature comprehensive glove sizing information to help users ensure that they select the most effective and ergonomically sound product.

"With years of dedication to the development of cutting-edge protection products, Ansell is well positioned to provide leadership in promoting the importance of innovative, job-specific personal protective equipment across all trades," said Sweeney. "We have been strong supporters of construction-specific hand safety awareness and we are pleased to announce National Construction Worker Hand Safety Month in an effort to lead the charge in educating the industry about the importance of hand protection and promoting the use of best-in-class, task-appropriate PPE."

Construction Hand Safety Fast Facts*
Hand, finger and arm injuries account for one third of all occupational injuries in the construction field. Of these, 76% are related to preventable cuts and abrasions.
In 2007, the approximate cost per hand injury per construction professional was $17,000.
On average, preventable hand injuries resulted in five days on downtime per injured worker in the construction field.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics & National Safety Council

About Ansell
Celebrating more than 100 years, Ansell has long been recognized for the innovations and leadership it has provided the hand protection and safety apparel industry. Besides high quality products, the company offers a comprehensive business solutions approach to help manufacturers achieve their cost reduction mandates. Ansell personal protective clothing (PPC) specialists work directly with corporate and plant representatives to develop highly effective programs with quantifiable results.

With its regional U.S. headquarters located in Red Bank, New Jersey and with operations in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Ansell serves a wide range of industries, including chemical manufacturing and refining, automotive, food processing, general industrial, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, construction, white goods, semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, and primary metals.

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