What Are Safety Gloves?
Safety Gloves are worn in thousands of work environments across the world, in diverse settings such as bakeries, hospitals and building sites. Put simply, safety gloves are protective garments that offer protection to your hands, fingers, thumbs and wrists against particular external forces, chemicals, elements and hazards in the workplace.
For every industry that requires safety gloves, there are tens of different items that offer specialist specifications for the wearer’s needs. In this age of rapid technological advances, new chemicals are being developed and processes are evolving. In many ways, workers are exposed to greater risks in their working environment and having the proper safety equipment is of paramount importance. In 2013 an estimated 909,000 working days were lost due to handling injuries according to the Labour Force Survey. Not having the correct safety gloves can have a negative impact for business and a disastrous, sometimes life-changing, impact on the worker.
What Features Must Safety Gloves Have?
Not only do safety gloves offer protection against external hazards, they must also allow the wearer to continue to function to the optimal level whilst working.
The correct grip is essential, so the materials used must be suitable for each industry’s specific needs. The fit of the glove must suit the wearer to avoid the gloves becoming cumbersome or difficult when performing fiddly tasks. Safety gloves must also be comfortable, ensuring that the materials used are kind to skin and non-abrasive. The more comfortable and wearable the gloves are, the more willingly the employees will wear them, leading to less risk in the workplace and lowering the likelihood of injuries and legal action.
The importance of breathability varies depending on the type of glove, but often letting air in is as important as keeping hazards out. In industries where the workers are required to wear gloves all day, every day, having a breathable element to the glove is essential, preventing skin conditions from developing, including dermatitis.
There are hundreds of different types of safety gloves used in the home and garden for personal use, but safety gloves are more commonly used in the workplace to protect workers against a number of dangers.
Types of Safety Gloves
Every type of safety glove is different and all have variations which make them essential to their users. At SafetyGloves.co.uk we endeavour to provide expert advice and quality products for every industry’s needs. Here are some examples of the categories of Safety Gloves we provide. Across our website we aim to provide essential information about these, and other types of safety gloves. Below is a brief example:
General Use Safety Gloves
General Use Safety Gloves cover a range of different gloves used by builders, plumbers, mechanics, factory workers and more. Most of these offer protection against friction, preventing blisters and sores, oil irritation and more. Please note that this is a generalisation and gloves in this category can differ in usage.
Chemical Resistant Safety Gloves
Chemical Resistant Safety Gloves protect against a wide range of chemicals and cleaning products. Depending on the strength of chemical and type of product, the safety gloves must adhere to strict regulations. It is essential to match the correct gloves to the application to ensure correct protection.
Puncture Resistant Safety Gloves
Puncture Resistant Safety Gloves protect against sharp hazardous items, including nails, screws and building debris, and come in a range of resistances offering different levels of protection. They are often used when clearing buildings, handling sheet metal, or for shipping and receiving. It is important to note that Puncture Resistant Gloves do not protect against thin, sharp items such as hypodermic needles and thin shards of glass. For this, a needle stick resistant glove would be necessary.
Electrical Insulating Gloves
Electrical Insulating Gloves are usually made of a latex material and are designed to protect against varying degrees of electrical voltages. Gloves of this nature, according to regulation, must be tested every 6 months to ensure optimal protection is given.
Hot/Cold Handling Gloves
Hot/Cold Handling Gloves offer protection against heat from ovens, electricals, welding and other hazards posed by hot or cold handling. Gloves differ depending on application and whether the heat is dry or moist and also whether there is an open flame or spark present. Certain safety gloves offering protection from the heat can protect against temperatures of up to 315 degrees Celsius.
Disposable Gloves offer single use protection from a range of hazards. They give the user flexibility when switching between tasks during production, assembly or manufacture, or when switching between patients in a clinical or medical setting. Depending on the handling application, disposable gloves can offer protection for a number of industries and scenarios. Disposable gloves can also be used as an extra barrier if worn on the top of a different type of glove, protecting under-gloves from contamination or fluids.
Cut Resistant Gloves
Gloves that have cut resistant capabilities are graded using a cut test - in short, how many cycles a blade (similar to a pizza cutter) takes to cut through the fabric. Cut resistant gloves are used across a vast number of industries for a number of different applications including steel handling, glass handling, timber handling, car manufacturing, and more. Cut resistant gloves often have secondary protection features depending on the industry and handling application it has been designed to be used in. For example, a cut resistant glove for automotive manufacturing will usually have puncture resistant properties and oil resistance qualities, whereas a cut resistant glove for the food industry may utilise hygiene control features such as colour coordination to prevent cross contamination of food products and types.
You can find out more about these glove categories and others here by taking a look around the Safety Gloves website. Each product details its ideal uses and hazard protection capabilities. Safety gloves are available in a wide range of styles for an almost infinite range of handling applications. That's why our safety gloves experts are on hand to help you choose the right gloves for your requirements. Simply call our team on 020 7501 1104 - we're here to help.