Trends in ... hand protection

‘No gloves? No hand protection’

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Hand protection manufacturers are striving to produce thinner, lighter and more comfortable gloves to help ensure worker compliance. Here, industry insiders discuss updates to hand protection standards, the importance of comfort and why holding onto your favorite pair of work gloves might not be the best decision.

Standard updates

“While perhaps not exactly a new technology, we want to highlight the recent updates to the ANSI 105 and EN 388 that will provide a more uniformed approach to assessing the cut-resistant performance of gloves across the globe,” said Anthony Di Giovanni, vice president of global marketing for Latham, NY-based Protective Industrial Products Inc. “With the EN 388 standard now adding ISO 13997 cut test method, it is similar to the ASTM F2992 test method used in the ANSI 105 standard. Both standards will now make use of the TDM machine with the sliding blade and weights as well as test parameters.”

Getting safety right

When researching what type of glove your workers will need, take your time.

“Proper glove selection is multifactorial and based on understanding the fundamentals of risk and task while carefully assessing the needs,” Di Giovanni said. “We all seek a one-product, one-level solution, but that is just not the best solution – even with today’s advanced fiber materials and engineered yarns.”

Mary Koszelak (LaVigne), product marketing manager – hand protection, North America, for Smithfield, RI-based Honeywell Industrial Safety, spoke of the importance of educating workers on selecting the right glove for the task at hand. What are the hazards they will encounter? Cuts? Extreme temperatures? Will they come in contact with chemicals or moving parts? Regardless, her advice is simple: “They’ve got to match the glove to the job.”

Comfort is paramount

Do some of your workers have a pair of favorite work gloves? “That’s good, because they’ll wear them,” Koszelak said. “But bad if they’re an old, worn-out leather pair, because we now have newer technologies, better designs – more protection.”

Comfort is a necessity, she added. “If workers are not wearing gloves because they find them uncomfortable, they get injured. No gloves? No hand protection.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

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