Every job site is unique, and determining the sort of safety gloves to use begins with identifying the threats. Conducting a workplace safety evaluation to assess risks before investing in worker safety gloves will help you select the appropriate amount of protection.
Gloves are an essential piece of safety equipment for any workplace. According to the National Safety Council's (NSC) Injury Facts, hand and finger injuries accounted for around 14% of injuries and 6 days of absence from work in 2020. Safety gloves defend against a variety of threats, such as cuts, burns, dirt, grime, and chemicals. Click here for anti-cutting gloves. Some gloves offer further protection against heat, wounds, and needle sticks. Nevertheless, it might be challenging to decide which solutions are best for you given the abundance of choices. You can figure out what to look for while selecting gloves with the aid of this advice.
Understanding the risks is the first step in deciding which kind of safety gloves to use because every workplace is unique. Before purchasing safety gloves for employees, conducting a workplace safety assessment to assess risks will help you make the proper protective decision. Keep in mind that safety gloves should not be used as the wearer's first line of protection against particular occupational risks but rather as a precaution. OSHA recommends that gloves be chosen based on the type and degree of dangers present, such as chemicals, temperature extremes, and physical or biological hazards. Knowing the threats particular to your profession helps you select the correct safety gloves, from cut, impact, puncture, and abrasion resistance to vibration, electrical, and chemical protection.
The safety gloves should be snug but not too tight. They will not provide adequate protection if they are too loose. If they are overly tight, they will be uncomfortable and may induce hand fatigue and impede dexterity. The circumference of the dominant hand around the palm or at the base of the metacarpals is used to evaluate proper glove fit:
Anything smaller than 7 inches is considered exceptionally tiny.
7.5 inches is a tiny size.
8 inches is considered medium.
9 inches is a significant size.
The extra big is 10 inches.
Extra-extra-large refers to sizes larger than 10.5 inches.
Workers should also think about how much dexterity they require to do their work. Thinner gloves are more flexible but may give less protection. Thicker gloves may give more protection, but they may also make work more difficult. Some gloves may lose their shape with time, necessitating the use of extra PPE and gloves to reduce the amount of exposed skin. To assist limit the risk of exposure, protective sleeves should be snugly fitted together.
Safety gloves should be composed of a strong material that can withstand the risks of the job. Working with sharp instruments, for example, may necessitate the use of cut-resistant gloves. Always wear chemical-resistant gloves that are rated for the substance you're working with. While the thicker the material, the more resistant the glove, not all materials are chemically resistant. Thicker gloves may also decrease grip and dexterity, compromising safety.
Safety gloves should provide the appropriate level and type of protection for the threats you are confronted with. Some elements that may influence glove selection, according to OSHA, are:
Chemicals that are handled
Protected body parts (hand, arm, forearm)
Grip conditions (dry, wet, or oily)
Cut-resistant gloves are graded from 1 to 9 to help guard against lacerations and puncture wounds when working with metal, glass, and other sharp objects. The ANSI/ISEA Impact Level defines the level of protection a glove provides against knuckle and finger impact injuries. Gloves are classified from 1 to 3, with higher numbers indicating more protection.
When it comes to safety gloves, comfort is key. Workers may be less likely to wear them if they are uncomfortable, putting them in danger. According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN), workers frequently remove their PPE mid-shift because it is uncomfortable. Many employees complain that certain glove models make their hands feel hot, sticky, and itchy when they remove them, affecting their performance and putting their safety in danger. According to research, many hand injuries are caused by employees who are not wearing gloves at the time of the injury. Including people who will use the safety gloves in the selection process and making them readily available helps promote compliance.
OSHA recommends inspecting safety gloves before each use to ensure that they are not torn, punctured, or damaged in any manner. Fill the gloves with water and tightly roll the cuff towards the fingers to uncover any pinhole leaks. Gloves that are discolored or stiff may suggest problems caused by repeated use or damage from chemical exposure. Any damaged gloves should be discarded and replaced.
The ability to reuse chemical-resistant gloves is determined by their absorbency and the manufacturer's instructions for correct use and storage. Understanding the chemical-resistant gloves' breakthrough time and cumulative permeation might help a user decide when it's time to replace them.
Properly dispose of used gloves. If used gloves were exposed to dangerous materials, they should be disposed of properly, such as in a hazardous waste container.
After using safety gloves, wash your hands to help remove any contaminants that may have been on the gloves.
Safety gloves are an important aspect of any worker's safety equipment. You can protect your hands from many threats and keep yourself safe at work by selecting the correct pair of gloves.