Customer case: Akwel

How Guide Gloves reduced hand injuries at global supplier Akwel .

Akwel Automotive is a global supplier of pipes and components to the automotive industry. The company has 11,000 employees at 40 factories worldwide and its customers include Volvo, Scania, Renault and MAN.

The workforce of about one hundred welders, tube benders, assembly workers, forklift truck drivers and other employees at its factory in the Swedish town of Ulricehamn produces metal piping for oil, water and chemicals. Their jobs require extreme precision, accuracy and safety. Work gloves previously worn by the employees were bad-quality, ill-fitting and offered a poor grip, which led to serious hand injuries.

“Our employees are exposed to a number of hazards such as crush and pinch injuries, cuts and heat injuries. There is also the risk of allergic reactions when the skin comes into contact with coolants and chemicals.  Quite simply, the standard gloves were unable to provide our employees with adequate protection against such hazards,” explains Bo Skytt, who is responsible for ensuring provision of protective clothing at Akwel.

Two years ago, the company decided to take action to improve safety performance in the workplace. Having established a partnership with Guide Gloves, they jointly performed an in-depth needs analysis and a series of product tests with the employees in the factory. This resulted in the replacement of the existing standard gloves with eight different types of gloves in a range of sizes – all tailored to the individual and the tasks.

The results are astounding. In the last two years, the number of incidents has dropped by 20-30% and there has not been a single cut injury in 2020.

“The changes that we’ve implemented through our partnership with Guide Gloves have made a huge difference. There has been a decline in the number of incidents and days lost to sickness absence, and we’ve also seen an increase in productivity. Above all, we are now living up to our motto of putting safety first,” says Bo Skytt.

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