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Due to the increase in the number of puncture-related injuries in recent years, unfortunately, puncture-resistant gloves are becoming more of a necessity in the workplace than ever before. Not only can being pricked by a hypodermic needle containing a hazardous substance be extremely dangerous, it can also cause the worker an immense amount of emotional turmoil. However, many people don’t realize that with the right pair of gloves, these hazards can easily become a non-issue.
Given the popularity of our Guide to Choosing the Best Puncture-Resistant Gloves infographic, we thought we’d delve a little deeper (ahem, no pun intended!) into the realm of puncture-resistant gloves by exploring some of the differences between the materials that are commonly used to make them, so that you’ll be equipped with all of the information you need to choose the right puncture-resistant glove for your workplace.
Puncture-resistant materials are typically made from 4 basic types of materials. Here are the major pros and cons:
Pros: Since there have been so many technological advancements to the glove manufacturing processes over the years, nowadays, leather is best suited for old school puncture resistance; gloves made of multiple layers of leather can be very puncture-resistant against larger puncture hazards, such as splinters.
Cons: While leather offers excellent protection against many other types of hazards that you might encounter in the workplace, thick leather gloves tend to be stiff, have poor dexterity, and provide poor puncture resistance against fine puncture hazards like hypodermic needles.
2. Metal Mesh
Pros: Multiple layers of tightly-woven metal mesh are used in the creation of some types of puncture-resistant gloves. (The most well-known brand name for this type of material is Alycore.) Metal mesh is fantastic for both large and fine puncture hazards when applied in a large number of layers (typically 8-10).
Cons: Due to how it feels against your hands, it’s not the most comfortable material on the market. Also, the metal can break down with extended wear/use over time.
3. Woven Kevlar®
Pros: Densely woven Kevlar® can provide phenomenal puncture resistance against both large and fine puncture hazards — even hypodermic needles! And, as an added bonus, woven Kevlar® also provides impressive cut resistance, which is a big advantage in most workplaces where puncture hazards are a threat.
Cons: Woven Kevlar® generally needs to be applied in two or more layers in order to provide sufficient protection against needle hazards. It can also be somewhat stiff in multiple layers. However, while other materials tend to be more dexterous, the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this instance.
Offering unparalleled ANSI level 5 puncture protection, they’re a perfect example of how effective gloves crafted with woven Kevlar® can be against high risk puncture hazards.Depending on the material that the manufacturer has chosen for the glove, these materials are then placed on the inside of the glove. When combined with a different outer surface for increased grip and an inner layer usually made of another material for extra comfort, the result is an incredible glove that’ll protect you from any unwanted pricks and pokes that come your way.
As we mentioned earlier, multiple layers of the puncture-resistant material are required for protection against hypodermic needles.
Most styles provide puncture protection on the palm only. However, a few styles do provide 360 degree puncture resistance. Make sure you find out if your glove provides palm only or front and back protection. Depending on your industry and your role in the workplace, this distinction can be crucial — in some cases, it can mean the difference between being fully protected against any unwanted pricks, or leaving vulnerable areas exposed.
Bonus tip: Make sure you use the right puncture standard to test your gloves, according to the hazards in your work place. For fine hazards like hypodermic needles, consult ASTM F2878 test results. For larger hazards such as wood splinters, EN388 testing is preferable.
In search of a glove that’ll offer impressive puncture resistance, regardless of the severity of the hazard? Our S10LXPB: Dexterity® 10-Gauge Cotton/Poly Knit Glove with Hi-Viz Latex Palm Lined with Punkban™ are a very popular choice. Want to take them for a test drive in your workplace? Request your free sample now by clicking the button below.
Interested in learning more about puncture-resistant gloves? Have a read through our recent blog post, “Shattering the 3 Biggest Myths about Puncture-Resistant Gloves.”
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