Gloves help to keep the hands safe from injury while on the job. And although many work environments require the use of safety gloves, it’s choosing the correct type for the task that can sometimes be a challenge, because there are many different types of gloves for many tasks.
As with any type of workwear, it’s important to look at the workplace and figure out what risks exist. You may find that workers come into contact with chemicals as well as temperature extremes and sharp objects on a regular basis. If this is the case, you may need separate pairs of gloves for each task, or there may be one that will meet the requirements of all risks.
Regardless of the glove type you need, choosing one that adheres to European standards for safety is always recommended. In fact, it is a legal requirement.
In addition to choosing the right type of glove for a job, it’s important to think about how they will be worn. Will employees only wear the gloves for part of the day, or for their full shift? The longer gloves are worn, the more important it will be for them to be comfortable for the wearer. For example, if an employee’s hands become sweaty when they’ve worn their gloves for a while, they will become uncomfortable. Not only that, but sweaty hands can negatively affect an employee’s ability to do their job properly.
Where sweaty hands are a possibility and if not a threat to safety, the gloves may be able to be removed for a short time. If removing the gloves is not possible, then liner gloves can be worn to keep hands dry.
As with all other types of work wear, fit contributes much to employee comfort, and ultimately, their mood whilst on the job. Ill-fitting gloves can actually contribute to hand tiredness as well. And tired hands won’t be able to grip effectively, which can endanger employees.
Different materials will respond differently to things like temperature and moisture. For example, some materials may insulate well, but lose their insulating ability when they become wet. There is little more uncomfortable than being wet and cold whilst on the job. Where these conditions are the norm, gloves able to allow the hands to grip as well as insulate the hands from the cold are the best choice.
The same is true of situations where gloves must be worn during warm conditions. Gloves worn in this type of work environment should definitely be breathable to allow for optimal comfort and fit.
Dexterity and Grip
The ability of a glove to insulate the hands from cold temperatures or increase breathability in warm conditions is certainly important. But so too is the dexterity they can offer. Better dexterity is possible with a glove that is thinner in construction, but a thicker glove may be needed for cold weather. In addition to dexterity, the amount of grip a glove provides is also important. The more textured a glove’s surface is, the more grip it will allow for.
The final choice can be one that’s made with the help of employees. After all, they are on the front lines and will be wearing protective staff clothing every day. Getting their insights into what gloves may work best can help you choose the right gloves the first time. You may also want to get the opinions of others in the workplace that are in charge of health and safety, as they may also be able to provide you with valuable suggestions.