A vital component in personal protection, safety gloves are worn daily in countless work environments across the UK, particularly in roles that involve the use of sharp equipment, extreme temperatures or highly abrasive surfaces. These unsung heroes can be the barrier standing between you and a tragic workplace accident so selecting the right pair for the job, whilst also ensuring a robust glove policy is ingrained into the culture of the business, is essential.
Clad Safety has put together a ‘handy guide’ to assist glove selection with help from our friends at Traffi, the hand protection specialists. Traffi are renowned for their unique traffic light colour coding system, where gloves alternate in colour based on the level of cut-resistance on offer; red being cut level A, amber cut level B, green offering protection for levels C to F when measured against the EN388 test for cut resistance. The coding system ensures an easy solution for on-site compliance checks where multiple site workers are involved.
To simplify the process of glove selection, the following points outline considerations that should be undertaken prior to purchase, together with a few of the options available to keep hands fully protected against the hazards faced:
Consider the working environment:
The working environment will obviously play a large role in choosing the correct hand protection. Gloves should be selected according to whether workers will be exposed to dry, wet, hot, cold, chemical or oily conditions.
Study the nature of the task:
Each and every job has its own set of individual risks and requirements therefore the potential severity of each one should be calculated to ensure the correct safety gloves are selected. For example, in scaffolding works, handling the poles will require a good level of abrasion and tear protection as well as the ability to maintain a strong grip in both dry and wet weather conditions. In contrast, detailed plumbing jobs will need gloves that provide high levels of dexterity whilst also protecting against the risk of cuts from sharp metal edges. Gloves are also available that offer arc flash protection, have anti-static properties or are suitable for touchscreen applications.
Consider a sustainability option:
Gloves are a high usage, high wastage product. If you are looking to considerably reduce your negative impact on the environment, consider a sustainability option instead. Traffi has developed the world’s first carbon neutral safety glove range, delivering life extending technology (LXT) gloves to you with a net zero carbon footprint. Gloves feature triple-wrapped yarn as standard to extend overall life span, resulting in less items being sent to landfill.
Understand the coatings:
Safety gloves are designed and manufactured to suit the needs of specific tasks therefore different yarns, coatings and technologies are utilised for a range of diverse environments including:
Microdex is a technically engineered, highly dexterous microfoam coating combined with state-of-the-art fine gauge high performance yarn technology. The coating provides premium comfort, dexterity and tactility.
This impressively fine palm dip coating offers excellent protection against abrasion, punctures, cuts and snags. Whilst not flame-resistant, it performs well in a range of temperatures between -4°C and 149°C making it suitable for a wide range of environments. It’s coating provides protection against chemicals, oils, greases and fats and delivers high levels of comfort.
X-Dura is a highly dependable and reliable coating and liner technology.
A foamed nitrile that gives the glove’s coating a sponge-like property. This coating is great for when in contact with smooth, oily surfaces enhancing grip due to the coating’s ability to soak up and displace surface oil.
The flat nitrile coatings provide a high level of oil and water resistance. Additionally, they offer good grip in dry conditions and solid durability with minimal micron thickness. This can also be combined as a knuckle or wrist dip first coat under a foamed palm coating to provide a highly durable oil and water resistant double dip coating.
This is seen as the ideal choice of coating for cut-resistant gloves when used in dry conditions. Typically soft with stretchy properties this coating allows great flexibility. It has good puncture and abrasion resistance yet remains very thin allowing optimum tactility and precision handling. Exceptionally resilient and durable, this coating works particularly well for light manufacturing and small part assembly type operations making it a great all-rounder.
Latex has very high elasticity and outstanding grip, especially when it has been processed to form a crinkled surface. Ideal for use in handling rough wood, boxes, cut stone, scrap metal and concrete block the surface offers great grip, cut and tear resilience, durability and strength. It is also able to withstand extreme temperatures. The waterproof nature of latex coatings make them suitable for handling wet machinery and components.
Caring for your gloves:
It is always advisable to inspect reusable safety gloves daily to check for signs of damage, rips, thinning or wear and tear which may suggest the glove will no longer provide the level of protection required. Even the smallest hole could potentially let a hazardous chemical in leading to burns, scalds etc. The inside of the glove should also be examined for traces of chemicals, putty, cement etc, as these substances when left in a glove for any length of time against your skin could cause severe discomfort or even injury. It is also important that the gloves are checked daily to ensure they are intact and there are no loose threads that could get caught in machinery or equipment.
Traffi gloves are fully certified even after washing. Gloves can be cleaned on a regular basis, either in a washing machine (30 degree wash) or under a tap and left to dry naturally. Laundering should be carried out avoiding the use of harsh chemicals which may affect the properties of the coating and therefore the overall level of protection.
For more information on the range of Traffi gloves available through Clad Safety please click here.
Clad Safety has been operating for over 30 years and takes pride in the excellent service that we offer to our customers. Our product range, combined with expert technical advice allows us to offer valuable workwear solutions. For further information or to find out more on how Clad Safety can support your workwear and PPE needs please contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 161 3661 or email [email protected].