Sometimes, we get a bit caught up in the importance of hand protection, that we don’t focus as much attention on arm protection. So today, we devoted the entire blog to sleeves, here are some tips for choosing the right pair:
1. Make Sure They Fit:
The biggest problem with sleeves is they generally don’t fit very well. They tend to slide down the arm and end up only protecting a small area of the arm, resulting in a ineffective protective sleeve. This causes discomfort and annoyance for your employees (just imagine having to pull up your sleeves three or four dozen times a day…it would be way too tiring).
That’s why these days sleeves come in a tapered option with different widths to fit different arms. If you current supplier tells you “one size fits all,” then run the other way. That was true several years ago, but it isn’t the case today. Your sleeves should fit every employee, securely and comfortably, period.
2. Don’t Let ‘Em Slip:
We all need closure! (Bicep closure, that is).
To help keep the sleeve in place, select a sleeve that has elastic, Velcro or metal clips to prevent them from fall down.
Many Superior sleeves come with STAYz-UP™ elastic, which is both comfortable and effective.
3. Do You Need Flame Resistance?
Do you need a material that is flame resistant? The quick answer is if you have:
- An application that has heavy sparks — like some automotive weld applications.
- Flame hazards — like in oil and gas refineries.
You should choose a flame-resistant sleeve such as aramid (Kevlar®) or other flame-resistant fabric, like Protex® ). That said, non-FR materials can withstand more sparks than most people give them credit for. Check out this video of a Dyneema® glove, which is not flame resistant at all, under heavy sparks.
4. Choose the Proper Cut Level:
There are two schools of thought on this question:
- Choose the same cut level as the glove their employees are currently wearing to be on the safe side.
- Choose a sleeve, one or two levels lower because the arms are at less of a risk than the hands.
This is a judgement call. There is no one right answer, you have to look at your process to decide. The good news is that ANSI cut-level 4 sleeves are much more comfortable and affordable than they were a few years ago.
5. Make Sure They’re Comfortable:
This is critical. It your sleeves are uncomfortable, they will not be worn. You will be fighting a losing battle with your employees and compliance will suffer. This is especially true in hotter weather. Some sleeves can feel like wearing a wool sweater in July. Our most comfortable sleeves are made with TenActiv™ and Cutban™, which are breathable in hot weather.
6. Will There Be Shrinkage?
Make sure your sleeves continue to provide the protection needed after laundering. We knit our sleeves 1-2 inches longer than spec, so they will shrink to size after the first wash. Make sure that if you are paying for an 18-inch sleeve, you get an 18-inch sleeve!
(Want more information on sleeves? Check out our infographic Guide to Choosing the Right Cut-Resistant Sleeve by clicking below!)