Safety Gloves Tips

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What Factors Should I Consider Regarding Disposable Safety Gloves?

Disposable Safety Glove Considerations

Disposable gloves come in many designs, materials, and levels of protection. The majority of disposable safety gloves are used in the medical profession, whether in laboratory, hospital, medical office, or emergency response situations, these work gloves protect you from the transfer of dangerous substances from both human and mechanical sources.

Industrial laboratories are another major environment using disposable industrial safety gloves. In many of these situations, your hand protection gloves are often protecting both you AND the objects being handled. Ironically, in a clean room environment, such as computer chip manufacturing, your disposable gloves are used to protect delicate silicon chips and computer boards from contamination by you.

Strongly consider the following items in your evaluation of disposable gloves:

  • Material – a variety of synthetic material can be used to make disposable gloves – find one that is compatible with your skin – for instance, many people are allergic to latex and need disposables made of a different substance.
  • Dexterity and finger sensitivity – how detailed is your job function and what level of dexterity and sensitivity do you need to perform – if examining patients or working on very small computer chips, you need to “replicate” the sensitivity of your bare hands to do your job effectively.
  • Comfort versus protection – use the most comfortable disposable gloves you can find as long as they give you at least the minimum standard of protection from your job specific hazards.
Disposable gloves are wonderful items to protect both you and your patients or objects being handled. Use them with care and dispose of them properly, particularly if you handle pathogens or potentially toxic material. Visit the source website for further information and cautions.

   
Are There Safety Gloves Made for Women?

Safety Gloves Made for Women

Understanding that women often have smaller hands than their male counterparts, a number of manufacturers now offer women's work gloves. From major companies like, Mechanix Wear Gloves, to lesser known firms, like Majestic and Gempler's, many manufacturers and distributors offer good quality safety leather gloves, Kevlar work gloves, and all forms of hand threat protection.

Mechanix gloves are a well recommended product by both men and women. In addition to traditional hand protection, Mechanix light gloves, designed with a battery operated light source in the glove, offers solutions to many threats. The unique Mechanix glove light helps you work in dark space successfully. You'll not be surprised that Mechanix also offers a pink work glove expressly for women.

Gempler's offers a feature loved by women. If involved in the medical profession or industrial lab situations, disposable gloves are used for much of the work day. To prevent dermatitis or allergic reactions to latex or other non-breathable synthetic materials, Gempler's offers a 100% cotton glove liner just for women. If a woman needs superior cut resistant, insulated work gloves, Gempler's also offers both lightweight and heavyweight Kevlar work gloves for women.

The advice to all women: Don't settle for "one size fits all" work and safety gloves. You can acquire all manner of light and heavy duty work gloves made expressly for women to make your workplace or hobby safer and more enjoyable.

   
What Cold Weather Work Gloves Are Available?

Cold Weather Work Gloves

Long a favorite for cold weather work gloves, brown jersey work gloves are available from a number of sources. Made of 100% tightly woven cotton, usually in the 8 to 9 ounce weight range, they can be unlined or lined with a variety of material to increase their cold protection. You can choose open or knitted cuffs for comfort and cold reduction.

Another favorite of outdoor workers in cold climates are Mechanix cold weather gloves. Using a variety of materials, their classic cold weather glove has an outer shell of Taslan, which is strong and provides good wind protection, and 3M Thinsulate on the inside. This combination provides safety gloves that are lightweight with superior cold protection. These are not cheap work gloves, selling for around $30 per pair. But, unlike their lower priced relatives that may look warm, but are almost useless in wind and cold conditions, these cold weather work gloves will keep your working hands as toasty as possible.

If you are a woman, you should consider the thermal-lined, knit women's work gloves by Kinco. These have a rubber coating on the palm so you can still work properly and get a good grip on objects in cold weather. Kinco also offers heavily lined insulated cowhide leather work gloves that also provide excellent protection from the cold.

These are a few popular suggestions. There are others, like Ironclad Work Gloves, which are excellent. Keep looking to see the full menu of cold weather work gloves that are available. Some are designed primarily for maximum protection against wind and cold, while others provide excellent dexterity and light weight along with their cold weather comfort.

   
What Are Some Good Choices for Electrical Safety Gloves?

Good Choices for Electrical Safety Gloves

Electrical safety gloves are critically important to those working around active electrical current. Most safety gloves providing electrical protection are either made of rubber or lined with rubber with a different shell. Rubber safety gloves provide two benefits to the wearer:

  • Electrical protection – as a non-conductor of electricity, if your hands take a “hit”, you will not become a conductor yourself.
  • Grip ability – whether you're working in cold or hot conditions, you'll have excellent object gripping ability. These are superb grip work gloves.
Good rubber safety gloves are offered by a number of sources as well as electrical protection gloves with outer shells of leather, Kevlar, or knit material. A third option is using heavy duty, possibly high voltage protection gloves over thinner rubber gloves fitted to your hand. Some products you might examine

  • W.H. Salisbury – offers a “glove configurator” on its website which allows you to state what voltage level you face, whether you want natural or synthetic rubber, the length, the cuff style, the color, etc. to find the right glove for you.
  • Web Soft Safety Solutions – offers both high and low voltage rubber safety gloves complete with lab certified testing results.
  • Boddington's Electrical – has safety gloves that are rated by both lab testing voltage levels and more real world working voltage protection ranges.
  • A+ Electrical Safety Equipment – offers good quality rubber gloves and protective sleeves giving high level safety.
These are but a few choices to start your search. As you can see, at some level, rubber (or synthetic rubber) is an active component of most electrical safety gloves. There are a few companies that offer fingerless work gloves that also claim to provide electrical protection but be very careful with any of those choices because of the amount of exposed skin. Also, make sure the safety gloves you select are rated for more than the voltage level you are likely to work on.

   
Are There Advantages to Using Synthetic Industrial Work Gloves Instead of Leather Models?

Advantages of Synthetic or Leather Industrial Work Gloves

There are advantages and disadvantages to both synthetic and leather industrial work gloves. There is no perfect material but both of these choices provide advantages to the wearer. Some of the benefits of synthetic safety gloves

  • Flexibility – make excellent disposable gloves for medical, laboratory, and chemical environments.
  • Strength – whether you choose Kevlar for cut resistance, Thinsulate for protection against wind and cold, or a combination of materials, synthetics provide strong protection.
  • Weight – most synthetic industrial work gloves are lighter than leather counterparts, which can be very beneficial over long work days.
Safety leather gloves also provide valuable advantages to the user, including

  • Durability – while not necessarily true with cheap work gloves, leather is a very durable and long lasting material.
  • Breathability – unlike most synthetic material, leather “breathes” giving the wearer much more comfort, while being substantially cooler in hot conditions.
  • Allows effective “combinations” – because of its malleability, leather is a perfect outer shell that can be securely attached to linings, such as electrical safety gloves with leather outer shells and natural rubber linings.
As you can see, the strengths of one material become the potential liabilities of the other, but both are good choices. Your personal preference for comfort and safety reasons will be the deciding factor since both designs are effective. Cost differentials are not a major consideration with the majority of choices of industrial safety gloves made with either material.

   
Are There Advantages of Using Fingerless Work Gloves?

Advantages of Using Fingerless Work Gloves

With newer advances in both natural and synthetic material to manufacture industrial work gloves, fingerless work gloves are used less often than in the past. However, they do provide some advantages to the wearers that influence many people to use them.

  • Dexterity and sensitivity – with your fingers totally exposed, you have the sensitivity and manual dexterity required to perform many tasks that are more difficult while wearing a full hand glove.
  • Aeration – when working in hot conditions, full safety work gloves can make your hands very uncomfortable and sweaty – with exposed fingers, your hands are cooler and can be wiped dry even if they build up sweat.
  • Lighter weight – with your hand covered by less material, fingerless work gloves often weigh less giving you less hand fatigue than with leather work gloves.
Mechanix Wear gloves offers a high tech fingerless work glove (M-Pact Fingerless) that is attractive, lightweight, and gives you superb protection for your hand and knuckles. DeWalt makes excellent synthetic fingerless gloves perfect for carpentry, framing, and pluming tasks. CLC Custom Leathercraft offers the FlexGrip Rocker fingerless glove which is very popular in the workplace.

You should be aware of the obvious potential disadvantage of fingerless safety gloves. Your very valuable and talented fingers are exposed to the elements in which you work. Whether it's extreme temperature, cut danger, live electrical voltage, or chemicals, fingerless work gloves are a poor alternative to full hand protection designed to guard against the hazards you face.

   
What Are the Basic Categories of Safety Gloves?

Basic Categories of Safety Gloves

It is generally agreed that there are six major categories of safety gloves. The differences are defined by the potential hazards they defend against and, often, the material used for their construction. The general classes of safety work gloves are -

  • Disposables – excellent for one-time use while still providing “fingertip sensitivity” required by medical environments, industrial laboratories, and clean rooms – often made of latex, vinyl, nitrile, or polyethylene.
  • Chemical resistant – protect the wearer from chemical penetration to the skin – usually made of latex, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), neoprene, butyl, or nitrile.
  • Cut resistant – using Kevlar, steel knit designs, or synthetic yarns, these items lesson the chance of cutting the skin by sharp objects or moving machine blades.
  • Voltage resistant – protect the wearer from injury by active electrical voltage – usually made of rubber, a very effective non-conductor material.
  • Temperature resistant – designed to protect the wearer from temperature extremes (hot or cold), arcs and flames, and torch or welding activities.
  • General work – give you protection against common workplace hazards (cuts, punctures, abrasions, etc.) – made of a variety of materials, including cotton, leather, synthetics, or even a combination of these.
As with all personal protective equipment (PPE), identify the potential threats you face, find the best disposable gloves or industrial work gloves available, then use them correctly. Whether you need general purpose safety leather gloves or high tech protection from Kevlar work gloves, correct use will eliminate many of the hazard risks you face on the job.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.