Hand Protection

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‘All gloves are not created equal’

Gloves: They’re not all the same. It’s something that experts from hand protection manufacturers wish workers and employers better understood.

“All gloves are not created equal,” said Jeff Cohen, QSSP, director of product management for hand and arm protection, Protective Industrial Products. “There’s a reason why certain gloves do not hold up when they are tested against others in the same applications or environments.”

Brian Moseley, regulatory affairs/quality assurance manager/technical manager for Showa, added: “There are specific gloves created for different working environments. If used incorrectly or for the wrong occasion, gloves will not properly protect workers from danger. Using a glove not specifically suited for certain materials or environments can pose threats to both employees and businesses alike.”

And don’t forget about fit. “Glove fit is crucial in determining its wearability and hazard protection,” said Joe Geng, vice president of Superior Glove.

A proper fit

How do you determine fit? First, Geng said, look at finger length. “If the finger crotch doesn’t fit to the base of your fingers or if there’s excess material on the tips, this indicates you should size up or down, respectively.”

Next, check the palm. “If the glove’s palm doesn’t cover your palm fully, this indicates that your gloves are too small,” he said. Lastly, “Excess material around your hand or bunching in your palms when you close your hands indicates the gloves are oversized.”

Another key point?

“Safety does not stop at the wrist,” Cohen said. “If you’re using gloves to protect against heat and sparks, why would you not want to protect your arms against these same hazards? Arm protection should be a key consideration when selecting the proper PPE for jobs.”

Moseley added: “Identifying the most appropriate glove for specific workplaces will best protect employees from perilous situations.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

Coming next month:

  • Eyewashes/showers
  • Materials handling/
warehouse safety

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