There are protective gloves available for practically any kind of job. The trick is to determine what type of performance, fit and comfort level your employees need. Comfort level may seem the least important factor, however, if the gloves do not fit correctly or are uncomfortable, the worker may not wear them. To begin choosing the right gloves, employers must know the basic elements of the job and the hazards connected with it.
- Will the worker be exposed to extreme heat or cold? For how long? Insulated gloves protect from extreme temperatures.
- What about abrasions and punctures? Some gloves protect the hands from puncture by pieces of glass or metal. There are also many gloves which protect from cuts and abrasions.
- Chemical hazards can occur in liquid, gas, powder, or vapour form. Are you guarding against splashes of the chemical or complete immersion?
- Do the workers need anti-vibration gloves? Hand-arm syndrome is a serious problem born from the industrial age as heavy-duty power tools have become more common in the workplace. There are gloves designed to protect workers from vibration and shock.
- If employees work with wet or oily objects, gloves with a secure grip is vitally important.
- If employees are working in a fast paced environment, or are handling small objects quickly, they may need thinner gauge gloves that offer more dexterity.
Proper sizing is also important. Gloves that are too big may not provide protection where it is needed and could even be a hazard around machinery. Gloves that are too tight quickly become uncomfortable and workers may take them off. A comfortable fit is particularly important if the worker wears the gloves for long periods of time.