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What do Safety Gloves Protect You From?

by Joe Geng on June 2, 2016

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Construction Worker Building Timber Frame In New Home
You wouldn’t charge into battle without the right armour, would you?

No matter which industry you’re in, there are always a number of associated safety risks involved — risks that, upon first thought, might not even be apparent. Some folks work in environments that are so cold that most people wouldn’t even get out of bed — let alone get dressed and brave the weather. For some, there’s a daily risk of chemical burns, cuts, or contact with biohazards. And unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

Regardless, no matter what kind of work you do, ensuring that you’re equipped with the right tools can help you get the job done both efficiently and safely.

What do Safety Gloves Protect You From?
Some of the most important (but sometimes overlooked!) tools you can have with you at your work station are the proper safety gloves and sleeves for the task. Since work gloves are typically designed with specific hazards in mind, some styles of work gloves are more suitable for certain applications and industries. For this reason, wearing the right safety gloves can be instrumental in preventing a variety of different short and long term workplace injuries, including cuts, punctures, burns, abrasion hazards, and so much more.

Because of this, when you wear your assigned PPE, you’ll finish each day as protected as when you first started it.

Here’s a crash course on some of the many dangerous hazards that safety gloves can protect you from:

1. Chemicals and Biohazards
Whenever there are chemicals being handled, unfortunately, there’s the risk of a chemical burn or other injuries. With biohazards, all that it takes is one touch to start a chain reaction where infections spread like wildfire. Chemical- and biohazard-resistant gloves form a complete barrier around your hands. Add in sleeves, and the protection covers most of your arms. Since these types of PPE block out the offending substances, they reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience injury or carry the substance on your skin away from your workplace.

Protective materials used to make our chemical-resistant gloves include:

  • Latex
  • Nitrile
  • PVC
  • Chemstop™ neoprene
  • Cryogenic-resistant cowhide
  • Chemstop™ butyl
  • Viton-butyl

2. Cuts, Punctures, and Abrasion Hazards
There are hardly any industries whether neither cuts, abrasion hazards, nor punctures are a risk. Because of this, oil field workers, cell phone tower riggers, mechanics, doctors, sheet metal and glass handlers, nurses, and employees in numerous other industries require reliable protection against these types of workplace hazards. For this reason, our large selection of work gloves ranges from the thinnest disposable gloves to the most heavy-duty, cut-resistant work gloves — so that no matter what industry you’re in, we have the gloves you need to stay safe while you’re on the job.

  • Looking for reliable cut protection? Depending on what the job entails and the level of cut protection you require, you’ll want to choose gloves made with either Kevlar®, Dyneema®, or gloves made from a combination of these and other cut-resistant materials.
  • Need protection against punctures? Our Punkban™ products is probably your best bet.
  • And, depending on the severity of the abrasion hazards in your workplace, our leather work gloves are always an excellent choice.
    Note: Since these types of hazards cover such a large range, if you’re unsure which work gloves are best for you and your workplace conditions, the best thing to do is to contact one of our glove experts directly for helpful advice and recommendations.

    3. Impact Injuries
    Swinging a hammer on a job site, operating heavy equipment, and working in a mechanic garage are just a few situations that put hands at risk of impact injuries. Any job where hands might be crushed or hit by tools, equipment, or supplies requires reliable, impact-resistant work gloves. Instead of allowing the impacts to bear down on one part of your hand or on individual fingers, these gloves soften the blow and prevent injuries by absorbing some of the impact and dispersing the rest of it away from your hands.

    For a high level of protection against impacts, safety gloves with thermo plastic rubber (or TPR) are currently the best choice of anti-impact gloves on the market. Since TPR pads and strips strategically cover the areas on your hands where impacts are most likely to occur, although your hands will be fully protected, you won’t lose the range of movement and dexterity you need to get the job done.

    4. Heat and Arc Hazards
    Welding, glass manufacturing, petrochemical plants, oil fields, and the natural gas industries are only some examples of workplaces where heat and arc hazards pose serious risks. Work gloves that are specifically made to protect workers’ hands against these hazards create a barrier that blocks the hazard from coming through to the hands in order to keep you safe from burns.

    Some of the heat- and arc-resistant materials that these types of work gloves are made from include:

    • Temperbloc®
    • Polybenzimidaxazole fibre
    • SilaChlor®
    • Kevlar®

    5. Severe Weather and Extreme Temperatures
    When cold weather hits, or if you work around refrigeration or near freezers, you need a thermal barrier that’ll hold in your body heat and block out the extreme cold. Since cold temperatures can cause temporary or permanent damage to the skin and muscle tissue, the colder it is, the more protection you need. Add in damp conditions, and you’ve got additional concerns!

    Since the following materials provide enough insulation and warmth to hold their own in severe conditions, you’ll find them featured in the work gloves we’ve crafted to protect your hands against these workplace conditions:

    • Thinsulate®
    • Thermolite®
    • PVC
    • Nitrile
    • Cow grain
    • Goat grain
    • Buffalo hide

    5. Persistent Vibrations
    Although both power drills and hammers subject hands to vibration, the affects of these machines are nothing like that of chainsaws, jackhammers, and other tools and heavy pieces of equipment that workers often handle for hours at a time. Persistent vibration can irritate nerves and nerve endings, damage blood vessels, cause long-term joint and muscle pain, and, in extreme cases, even lead to permanent nerve damage such as neuropathy. Because of this, wearing work gloves that help absorb and dampen vibration keep the damage to a minimum is a smart move.
    No matter where you work, there’s always some risk of injury. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re ready for whatever the work day brings by wearing the best safety gloves for the job.

    Not sure if you’re wearing the best gloves for your industry? Interested in taking a few styles out for a test drive? Did you know that we offer free glove audits? That’s right — our glove experts will come right to your workplace in order to ensure that your hands are as safe as can be while you’re on the job. Click the button below to request your free audit today!

    Request a free glove audit from our glove experts today.

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