Workplace Safety Gloves: How to Select the Best Gloves for Your Industry

263
views
Workplace Safety Gloves
Many industries make use of work gloves in the workplace, but not all work gloves are the same. Like any other tool, there are specific variations that may be useful in different industries or for different uses. For instance, electricians may have situations where they must keep their hands protected while still performing fine motor skills. Professionals of this type sometimes test the flexibility of gloves by seeing whether or not they can pick up a dime off of a table. A warehouse worker on the other hand maybe less concerned about fine motor skills and more concerned about maintaining a tight grip on a large box. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the considerations which might go into selecting the best gloves for your particular industry.

1Workplace gloves to protect against extreme temperatures and weather:

When the main consideration is temperature, fabric or wool gloves may be sufficient, especially against extreme cold. For example, farmworkers who must perform outdoor tasks year round may need gloves strictly for protection against cold temperatures.

They may also need gloves which are water-resistant or even waterproof. Simple fabric is not sufficient for this, and they may require an outer coating to help keep the gloves from absorbing water. This coating sometimes covers the entire glove, and sometimes just the palms or front of the glove. Nitrile-coated gloves like these may also be useful for minor heat resistance, such as cooking over an open flame.

However, when a worker’s hands must be in direct contact with high temperatures, another glove type may be best. Leather, terrycloth, aramid, acrylic, and Aramex are all materials that may be more useful for protection against extreme heat. If you’re unfamiliar with these materials and the pros and cons associated, this post summarizes these heat resistant materials and their pros and cons. For instance, in the post, you’ll learn that leather is naturally heat-resistant, but hardens over time while aramid is heat-resistant and fairly flexible, but more expensive.  

2Workplace gloves to protect against punctures:

Another obvious need for work gloves is to protect against abrasion, punctures, and scratches. For instance, construction workers may come in contact with a wide variety of raw materials which can leave them vulnerable to splinters, cuts, scratches, and punctures. Or for instance, nurses and health professionals may need protection against needle punctures.

In the case of needle-puncture protection, nurses and healthcare workers often use latex or nitrile gloves. Nitrile gloves are less likely to cause allergic reactions, and may therefore be more common for this purpose.

Construction workers on the other hand may need something sturdier and may instead opt for nitrile-coated fabric gloves, leather gloves, or thick rubber gloves. 

3Workplace gloves which improve grip:

There are many industries where gloves may be useful solely for improving grip when handling large or heavy objects. Movers, warehouse workers, fulfillment center workers, and package delivery workers may all have this need, for example. This is another case where nitrile-coated gloves may be useful as the coating along the front of the glove improves grip without greatly impeding dexterity. Certain thick fabric gloves can be somewhat useful for this as well. 

4Workplace gloves to protect against germs:

Healthcare and hospitality or custodial workers may need just a very thin glove, solely to protect them against germs. In these cases, simple plastic gloves, rubber gloves, latex gloves, or nitrile gloves may offer the right amount of protection with a minimal impediment to dexterity. Latex is becoming less and less common because of allergies, and nitrile may be a better alternative since it is less likely to irritate the skin.

In summary, while some industries may be more concerned about protecting against temperature and others may be more concerned about improving grip, there are many industries which may require some kind of safety glove. Here are just a few of the industries we’ve discussed above.

  • Gardening and farming.
  • Construction work.
  • Electric work and plumbing.
  • Moving.
  • Warehouse work.
  • Package delivery such as UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.
  • Fulfillment centers.