Every industry utilizes its own unique set of safety standards and equipment. This includes the gloves you wear when you're working.
To keep your hands protected the right way, you need to know about the different types of gloves available along with their uses and purpose.
Check out this helpful guide that explores safety gloves and how they're utilized in specific industries all over the world.
Gloves made of fabric like cotton are a popular choice for many industries. These gloves are thinner than standard work gloves and fit under another pair to give you added warmth for cold-weather wear.
Gloves made of cotton are thin and breathable which makes them highly versatile for a range of applications. You can put them on to protect your skin and create a barrier between your hands and tools or materials.
If you work around jagged items, open flames or hot surfaces, fabric gloves are not recommended for total protection. On the other hand, they can protect your hands from minor scrapes and cuts and keep your hands clean while you work.
Gloves made of fabric with a special coating can increase your level of protection. They're also much stronger than standard cotton or fabric gloves
Coated fabric gloves are general-purpose and provide you with better safeguards against punctures. The coatings can be anything from latex to nitrile and PVC or polyurethane.
With a coating applied, the gloves are stronger and can resist chemicals more effectively. You can use them for a range of industrial applications, but they're most commonly found in indoor environments like factories or manufacturing plants.
Disposable Safety Gloves
Thin, flexible safety gloves are widely used in the medical industry. Usually made of latex, these gloves can be found in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.
The gloves are quite thin and flexible to allow the user to work with their hands in meticulous jobs such as performing surgery or working with small test tubes. The gloves protect against things like exposure to bio-hazards, germs, and bacteria.
Disposable safety gloves can also keep hands clean and free of oils, solvents, and grease. The gloves come in a variety of sizes but are also form-fitting to give the user better dexterity.
It's easier to perform intricate work with these types of gloves so you can move your fingers in a precise way. They don't protect you against things like punctures or injuries from sharp objects and abrasions.
When you're finished using these gloves, they should be disposed of in a safe and appropriate manner.
Leather Safety Gloves
You may think of leather gloves as a stylish accessory, but these types of gloves can also be highly useful in safety applications. Leather provides your hands with a good grip, and it protects the skin against sparks and sharp surfaces.
Even when leather is exposed to reasonable levels of heat, your hands will still be protected. Many workers in the welding industry use leather gloves since they protect the hands against falling sparks.
These gloves are also useful when lowering or raising loads since the leather protects your hands from the friction of a rope passing through them. Since leather is highly durable, these gloves are well-suited to handle more rigorous tasks.
And while they're really durable and functional, leather gloves can harden or shrivel in size if they are exposed to heat for long periods of time. A liner is recommended to keep your hands from drying out.
Look for leather gloves featuring a built-in liner like Kevlar or a winter lining. This makes these gloves the perfect choice for industrial applications and heavy lifting.
Something called hand-arm vibration syndrome is becoming a serious concern for many workers. This condition occurs when you are affected by constant vibration or a severe impact on your hands.
Impact-resistant gloves are manufactured to help reduce your risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome. The gloves absorb excess energy from an impact, and they also help to reduce vibration in the hands while working.
People who work with power tools or jackhammers benefit from these types of gloves. The purpose of the gloves is to protect you when working in a situation where energy transfers to your hands. They can also help if your hands receive a lot of vibration over a long period of time.
You'll usually find impact-resistant gloves in the fabrication industry, where workers use grinders for hours at a time. They're also found in the construction and automotive industries to protect against vibrations of pneumatic tools.
Mechanic Style Safety Gloves
Mechanics need to be able to keep their hands nimble, but they also need added protection while working on vehicles. Safety gloves made especially for mechanics solve both of these problems.
These types of gloves can be disposable or reusable, and they're also made from a variety of materials depending on the manufacturer. The main purpose of mechanic safety gloves is to provide the wearer with protection from impacts, scrapes, and chemicals.
When working in a garage, mechanics come in contact with a variety of dangerous chemicals like radiator fluid and other vehicle fluids. The gloves create a protective barrier to keep the skin on the hands safe and dry.
A quality pair of mechanic safety gloves should provide a good grip since mechanics need to be able to hold tools and perform several operations that require good dexterity. The gloves should also prevent against calluses, a common problem that many mechanics face.
Some mechanic gloves also protect against hand fatigue and give the hands additional support as you perform repetitive tasks. You can use mechanic safety gloves for other things, too including yard work and cleaning up debris thanks to their versatility.
String Knit Safety Gloves
If you're looking for a quality all-purpose glove, string knit safety gloves are a great option. These gloves are usually made of cotton so they're lightweight and completely breathable.
Some string knit gloves include grips made of PVC to give you better control over tools, yard equipment, and other items. This type of glove is made to be highly absorbent and reversible so you can get more use from each pair.
The gloves can even be replaced individually, and they're form-fitting for comfortable wear. String knit gloves are not usually found in industrial environments, but you can usually find them being used by the landscaping industry.
You might also see string knit safety gloves used in the food industry to keep hands safe from burns and hot surfaces. The gloves can be color-coded to prevent cross-contamination in food production factories or labs.
When it comes to durability, rigger gloves are an excellent choice. These gloves are reinforced and usually feature a leather palm and fabric back with a leather strap directly over the knuckles.
Most rigger gloves are one-size-fits-all and are commonly used for rigging and cable pulling. Some rigger gloves feature an insulating layer to keep hands warm in colder temperatures.
Heat-resistant rigger gloves work well for high-temperature applications and are made of material made to resist flames and high heat. Impact rigger gloves can handle heavy-duty impact to the hands and often include additional protection for the knuckles and fingers.
These safety gloves are quite versatile, and they can be used in a wide variety of industries. You'll see rigger gloves in warehouses and on construction sites due to their protective, durable properties.
Since the gloves usually include additional cushioning on the palm area, they make handling heavy items easier and reduce the likelihood of objects digging into the hands. Since most are made to fit all sizes, they could be either too large or small for some people.
Choose the Right Types of Gloves for Your Industry
Whether you work as a mechanic or in the medical field, it's important to make sure you're using the right types of gloves for your individual line of work. Safety gloves protect workers from injury, keep hands warm, and can even protect against vibration-related syndromes.
All gloves should be comfortable to wear and feature material that can handle things like chemicals, heat, or high impacts. From welding to construction, choosing the correct type of glove can make a huge difference in your work environment.
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