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The Important Role of Work Gloves

The Important Role of Work Gloves

Posted by Grange Co-op on 23rd May 2022

A good pair of work gloves are an essential part of any worker's safety equipment. They protect your hands, whether you are doing simple chores like gardening at home or handling dangerous materials in an industrial setting. They help prevent injuries that happen to workers every year. 

Each year, a million workers are treated in emergency rooms for injuries to the hands and wrists. Of this number, 70 percent weren’t wearing gloves at the time of the injury. The remaining 30 percent had on gloves that were damaged or not appropriate for the task.

Choosing the Right Work Glove for the Job

The type of hand protection you wear should be equal to the hazards of the job. Some workers might feel confined when wearing gloves, or they don't have the right pair readily available. To ensure you have the right protective handwear available when you need it, shop for gloves before you need them. Keep the appropriate gloves on hand for any occasion. 

Consider the different types below and how they can benefit your work.

Gardening Gloves — These gloves range from simple cotton blends to long cuffed styles made from nitrile, latex, or other synthetic fabrics. They also come in leather or are made with layers of leather in certain spots for added comfort and strength.

People wear hand protection while gardening for different reasons. They may want to keep their hands and fingernails clean and keep from breaking their nails. They also use them to prevent cuts and scrapes, calluses, and blisters. Gloves also form a barrier between their hands and any harmful fungi and bacteria found in some soil.

Abrasion & Puncture-Resistant — Nitrile-coated gloves protect skin from tools or working materials that cause abrasions or punctures. Nitrile fabric is super lightweight for superior dexterity and thin enough to retain a sense of touch. They are a good choice for anyone who cuts things regularly, including everything from food preparation to installing metal roofs.

Cut-Resistant Gloves — It’s important to understand the difference between cut resistance and puncture-proof. Stabbing a blade into cut-resistant gloves won’t protect the wearer from getting punctured. On the other hand, puncture-proof gloves will protect wearers from things like sharp tools, pieces of glass, and needle sticks.

There are nine levels of cut protection, with A1 being for low-risk jobs and A9 being the greatest with resistance to extreme hazards such as glass, razors, and sharp industrial cutting instruments. Most places that sell cut-resistant gloves limit their selection to those rated level 1 through level 4. These should cover your needs for all but the most severe types of exposure.

Heat-Resistant/Welding — Heat resistance is important for anyone who works with exposure to extreme heat. Any situation that exposes your hands to flames or hot objects increases your risk of getting serious burns or other injuries.

Waterproof — Anyone working in or around water needs protection to keep their hands dry. If it’s for feeding and watering animals in the wintertime, thermal gloves with a waterproof coating will keep their hands dry and warm. For any outdoor job, it’s important to maintain dexterity. Lightweight options for summer are lighter in weight, have features that wick moisture away, and keep hands dry and cool.

High Visibility — Visibility is one of the major components of safety and a staple of many workers’ PPE and workplace equipment. Highly visible handwear is needed in low-light conditions, traffic direction, road construction, search and rescue, and many other settings where visibility is limited.

Touchscreen — Most of us can’t stand to be off our cell phones for more than a few minutes. For workers who spend time in the field, the urgency to use a cell phone might be even greater. If you rely on your phone to stay in touch with customers or your boss, or you use an app to do your job, you must have phone access all the time.

Touchscreen gloves have special fingertips to prevent you from needing to take your gloves off. Call in to the home office, respond to a call from a client, or check directions with ease and comfort. You can also find this feature in different types of gloves to fit the job you do.

General Purpose — Gloves designated as general-purpose are usually worn for personal protection in non-medical settings. They include products made from vinyl, fabric, leather, rubber, and other synthetic materials. Users wear them to protect their hands from harsh cleaners, solvents, and chemicals. They are beneficial on the job and for doing chores at home.

When wearing general-purpose gloves, choose those with features that match the work you plan to do. When working with chemicals, oils, or other liquids, opt for synthetics, plastic, or rubber. Those made from leather and which have additional padding in key spots are good for lifting heavy objects.

Getting Hand Protection That Fits Like a Glove

Gloves that are worn for warmth don’t have to have a perfect fit. The most dexterity you need is probably to turn the steering wheel. Work gloves are different. They require a perfect fit to ensure that they provide the level of safety and protection you need. So, how do you know for sure that they're a good fit?

Consider these clues:

  • There isn’t a lot of extra room at the fingertips. If you have a pair with a touchscreen function, having a snug fit in the fingertips is even more important.
  • They should fit around your wrist without being too tight. The idea is to protect your wrists from debris without cutting into your skin.
  • Check that the fabric fits snugly around every finger. There shouldn’t be extra fabric between your thumb and index finger.
  • Bend your fingers to make sure you have adequate freedom of movement. A good fit doesn’t rule out flexibility and comfort.

Working gloves aren’t a one-style or one-size-fits-all piece of clothing. They are versatile safety equipment that you should wear for almost any type of work you do.

Shop Grange Co-Op for All Your Hand Protection Needs

At Grange Co-op, we offer high-quality gloves for men, women, and kids. Keep your hands protected in any work environment and weather. Contact or visit us in-store to speak with our Grange Experts to learn more about choosing the best gloves for any task.