We all want the best protection for our hands, and in this blog post, I will show you how to get that. You will learn about what protective gloves are, why they're essential, and how to find the right pair for your needs. So if you want to know more about protective gloves - read on!
Related: What Are Safety Goggles Used For? [Revealed 6 Amazing Uses]
Table of Contents
What are Protective Gloves?
Protective gloves are workwear used to protect the user's hands from injury or machine parts. Protective gloves generally include steel mesh, neoprene, PVC, rubber, or nitrile.
They can be used for household work like washing dishes and scrubbing stains, construction tasks like handling concrete blocks, and garden tasks as plucking weeds.
It is crucial to select the right kind of protective glove for the job to avoid injury and develop skills in using them correctly.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of Gloves
There are many types of gloves available, depending on what activity you plan to use them for. While some people may only need one kind, others may choose from several varieties to suit their various activities. So here are some of the most common types of gloves in the US:
Leather Gloves: The most durable gloves are made of leather. So if you want a pair that lasts long, then this is the best type of glove to choose. They also provide an excellent grip and are ideal for gardening or any activity with much use of hands. However, since leather gloves cost more, they might not be budget-friendly for everyone. If you can't give up on the idea of choosing leather gloves, though, then try choosing from fingerless and kids options instead!
Synthetic Gloves: These kinds offer less friction than those made using genuine leathers. So when your palms get sweaty during intense workouts, these synthetic options would be best suited for you- so that it doesn't make things slippery. These gloves come in a wide range of colors, and most are washable.
Cotton Gloves: Made using cotton, these kinds of gloves are generally thin and offer little or no warmth to your hands. So if you're looking for some extra layers during the winter months, then choose synthetic options instead. The only advantage is that they make it easy to have a good grip on doorknobs and other items as there's little or no friction with such clothing. However, keep in mind that the material is lightweight, thus making them vulnerable to rips and tears. Also, because they cannot survive long periods underwater--think about what will happen if you touch something wet while wearing them!
Short Finger Gloves: Perhaps an ideal choice for beginners, these kinds of gloves are easy to slip on and come in various lengths. Some versions have three fingers, while others have four or even five fingers. Short finger gloves will be the best option if you're going to a place where hand hygiene is essential, like working in hospitals. Most are washable too!
Half Finger Gloves: Perfect for girls who want their hands to look more feminine and keep themselves warm during winter months, half-fingered options provide a fantastic range of colors and designs from which to choose. They also offer excellent grip! However, since they tend to shrink in size after washing them multiple times, they might not be the most durable choice out there. So unless you plan to wear your gloves only a few times, go with leather-based or other options instead.
Thermal Gloves: These gloves are usually worn by those who enjoy winter sports like skiing and skating! They provide maximum insulation for your hands from the cold, but you'll have to make sure they fit well on you before buying them so that there's no chaffing--this will happen if there is too much space in between the glove and your hand. Fortunately, they won't be too slippery when wet since the waterproof layer should prevent moisture from getting in. So these thermal gloves are ideal for winters, though do consider taking a more durable pair of gloves along as a backup during colder months.
Fingerless Gloves: These kinds of gloves are popular since they show off a girl's hands and leave them free to do things without having to worry about getting cold! These are also great for people who plan on carrying out tasks that need their fingers completely free, like crocheting. One advantage over full-fingered options is that you can use your smartphone and other touch screen devices while wearing one without taking them off.
Reinforced Gloves: As the name suggests, these gloves are reinforced with certain metals like copper or aluminum to improve strength and flexibility levels. They generally provide better protection for hands when working at heights and in places with an increased risk of falling due to grease or oil. But they may not be ideal for those who don't have a solid grip due to their rough texture.
Corded Gloves: Just as their name suggests, these gloves are made using cords that provide increased flexibility and comfort when worn. They're perfect for people looking for an easy glove option that's affordable too! So if you want something economical without sacrificing comfort and durability, then this is the choice to go with. However, remember that they generally do not last very long since they cannot withstand repeated machine washes or heavy use.
Heated Gloves: These kinds of gloves can be a little pricey but are great during winters, especially if you go outdoors frequently. The inner layer features unique heating elements to warm your hands depending on your settings once turned on. However, they can be worn without a problem, provided you use them in the right temperature conditions, so unless you live in a cold climate, then these gloves may not be ideal for you.
Related: How to Choose a Respirator Mask (And Why It’s Important)
9 Factors to Consider When Picking the Right Gloves:
- Fit: Finger length, palm length, and overall thickness of the glove (you do not want your gloves to fit too tightly) are most important for the task you will be performing, e.g., handling small components versus protection against cuts.
- Seams and stitching: Your gloves should have no exposed seams or stitching as these tend to rub on your skin more than you may realize. It is best to avoid gloves with finger seams if possible because, over time, this seam can cause a painful pressure point which is very difficult to treat and eliminate even after stopping work involving that glove.
- Durability: You'll want your gloves to last as long as possible to get the most out of your investment. Some gloves will last longer than others. The durability of a glove is pretty much determined by build material and thickness. Still, you can also check how they finish seams inside and outside concerning the final finishing quality, stitching tightness, and overall feel for durability.
- Protection: Protection against cuts is essential, primarily if you work in an environment where there's potential for very sharp objects such as blades or glass edges/splinters etc., being present, e.g., mechanical workshops where metalwork maybe being fabricated from sheet metal using power saws, etc. You'll want maximum protection here, which requires a higher level of abrasion resistance (hardness) from the material used to make that particular glove type. But don't overlook the importance of not wearing gloves that are so thick/heavy that they limit your manual dexterity, as this can easily detriment your output and job performance.
- Performance: You'll want some thickness in the palm area of your glove because it is where most of the contact with objects will take place, primarily if you work at relatively low heights such as assembly line workers, mechanics or movers, etc. The thumb of the glove may also need some extra protection against abrasion and cuts by double-layer material or natural leather panels, for example, to resist wear caused by heavy-handed activities such as wrenching and hammering.
- Dexterity: As mentioned above, good dexterity allows you to carry out delicate tasks with precision. These are very important for some professions and less so for others. Good dexterity is also essential to enable you to manipulate objects with ease. If your job requires a high level of manual dexterity, choose gloves that give you this capability.
- Abrasion resistance: It depends on the materials used, but most modern-day synthetic glove materials have a decent abrasion resistance built-in from the get-go. Check out MCR Safety material pages for more detailed info about specific glove material performance/properties (they're pretty good, I must say).
- Cuff length: Ensure that your sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists when bending or moving quickly, e.g., moving parts, working at low heights, etc., because it doesn't make sense getting cut on something you were trying to protect yourself from in the first place.
- Thickness: Thicker gloves are usually needed for heavy-duty applications requiring extra protection/durability, but thin hands may find heavier-duty gloves restrictive and uncomfortable. If you're a small guy working with large objects or machinery, this could be an issue. On the other hand, if your work requires more fine motor skills and dexterity, then thinner gloves can be advantageous for reaching into tight spaces and manipulating objects with precision.
How to Put on Protective Gloves?
The following guidelines must always be observed when putting on protective gloves.
- The most effective way to wear gloves is to put them on the right hand.
- Make sure you wear a glove for each hand by placing one hand inside another. For example, put your dominant (main) hand into the first glove, then pull your opposite arm through the second glove's opening. With that done, adjust and buckle both gloves as needed, so they fit tightly but not too tight.
- Make sure there are no finger gaps in your gloves and that they cover from fingertips to elbows or wrists with overlapping overlap if possible. If necessary, finish by slipping hands back out of each other's gloves until all fingers are revealed, then buckle up again before securing with a long strip of tape across the back of both wrists for extra grip and protection.
- Once you've put your gloves on, check them from all directions to ensure they fit correctly and are not torn.
- Make sure the rear of each glove is tapered slightly so it won't catch against pants or coat sleeves as you move around.
- After you've finished putting your protective gloves on, don't forget to wash your hands before going back to work!
Take a look at the video on how to put on and take off gloves safely:
How to Taking off Protective Gloves?
The following guidelines must always be observed when taking off protective gloves.
- The most effective way to take off your protective gloves is by removing the outermost glove first, then removing the next-to-outermost glove next, and so forth until all gloves have been removed.
- Start by pulling the folded-back cuff in the back of the hand over the thumb one at a time while pulling the glove off with the other hand.
- Pull off each glove, starting at fingertips by covering and tucking them entirely under your thumb before slowly peeling back the entire length of fingers until they are all revealed (don't wear gloves).
- When you've finished taking your protective gloves off, don't forget to wash your hands afterward!
Frequently Ask Questions about Protective Gloves
It Is okay to Use the Same Gloves to:
This depends on the type of gloves you are using. If they are nitrile or latex, then it's okay to use them for more than one purpose - as long as you wash your hands between uses and keep them dry. For reusable vinyl gloves, it is understandable that some people will take a new pair out of storage when they need to do another task (even though they shouldn't), so this also depends on how infrequently you plan on changing gloves when doing your work. Generally, though, I've heard that five times should be plenty before needing a change to protect both the user and the environment from exposure to additional stray chemicals or any other potential contaminants such as viruses.
When Must You Change Single-Use Gloves?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends changing single-use gloves as soon as five minutes after contact with a bodily fluid. The reason for OSHA's recommendation is that single-use gloves can act as a transporter of infectious substances to unintended surfaces or oneself, especially if they become contaminated. There are no uniform guidelines on when you should change your gloves in the medical field, but it is recommended by many to get fresh pairs every day or at least once each time you come into contact with body fluids.
What's the difference between disposable and non-disposable gloves?
Disposable gloves are made of thin latex film that can be used only once. However, non-disposables can be washed to be reused several times. Non-disposable come in various materials like nitrile, vinyl, butyl, or neoprene rubber.
Protective Gloves vs PPE Gloves
Protective gloves are typically made of materials like cotton, leather, or nylon. These gloves usually protect against mechanical and chemical hazards (e.g., knives). They also provide a sense of grip so that it's easier to perform tasks with them.
PPE Gloves are typically made from synthetics such as nitrile or latex rubber, and they are more likely to protect against chemical hazards (e.g., acids). They will likely be less flexible, but these types of gloves sacrifice flexibility for increased resistance to chemicals.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand the importance of wearing protective gloves when working with hazardous materials. If you have any questions about what type of glove is best for your needs or how to wear them correctly, please reach out to us - we're happy to help!
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