Which gloves to choose for optimal safety?

7 March 2022

Protecting your hands is one of the first things you should do when practicing a manual job.

It’s no surprise that hands are mostly exposed. Whether it’s to work with tools, chemicals, or simply germs.

It is therefore obvious that wearing safety gloves is important.

However, this protective equipment must correspond to the activity carried out and ensure adequate protection. Choosing safety gloves can indeed be complicated depending on the risk. Therefore, we have listed 3 different types of risks related to your hands’ safety.

Carpenter, gardener or even cook. These activities require the handling of sharp tools that can cause deep wounds.

Anti-cut gloves are reusable and made of a robust material (Kevlar, Dyneema, fibreglass) to offer excellent protection against punctures and cuts.

Hygiene risks

Hygiene risks are mainly present in the food industry, in hospitals and in agriculture. Use disposable gloves made of nitrile, latex, vinyl or rubber and easily limit the risk of infection. These single-use disposable gloves offer good dexterity but are not very resistant to certain work environments.

Gloves should be replaced as soon as they show signs of wear and tear and should also be replaced at the slightest exposure to chemicals.

Chemical risks

First of all, it is important to know that no glove is resistant to all chemicals. It is therefore important to identify the hazards and choose materials that are suitable for your environment.

Wearing gloves is important in the pharmaceutical industry, petrochemicals, paint and soap manufacturing, etc. Chemical hazards can cause burns, dermatitis, skin irritation and even poisoning. Be aware of this and protect yourself from these risks.

And so, which gloves should you choose?

Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic polymers and are an ideal substitute for allergies. Nitrile has similar properties to rubber, with the same flexibility and sensitivity as latex. In addition, nitrile gloves offer a similar level of tear resistance and are effective over time.

They are often said to be superior in terms of puncture resistance and are often referred to as “medical grade”.

In addition, nitrile is resistant to many chemicals, particularly petroleum-based products, making it an effective protective material when handling hazardous substances.

Vinyl gloves were once the first available synthetic alternative to consumers, offering an allergen-free alternative to latex. They are composed of polyvinyl chloride and a plasticizer that softens the material. The slip-on and feel of vinyl gloves make them unsuitable for activities requiring high tactile precision. Compared to latex and nitrile rubber, vinyl gloves are looser and less durable, and are recommended in situations where high durability and protection are not paramount. Vinyl is ideal with non-hazardous materials and is a polyvalent glove. Vinyl gloves are recommended for hand protection in an infection-free environment.

Cut-resistant gloves protect your hands and wrists from the hazards of sharp objects, such as cuts and puncture wounds. They are made of synthetic materials, such as Kevlar, Dyneema, PEHP (polyethylene) or fiberglass.

Some gloves are better suited to dry conditions, while others offer a better grip on slippery surfaces. To choose the right gloves to protect your workers’ hands, you need to consider the nature of the activities.

There are four important criteria to consider when buying cut-resistant gloves. The degree of cut resistance will be important in making your choice. But don’t forget to consider the shape, lining and coating, which determine the grip. These aspects are essential in some situations.

In addition, gloves have different properties, such as waterproofness, heat resistance and cut resistance. European standards have been set for all these properties.

After being tested, gloves are classified according to these standards.

Two standards exist for the cut resistance of gloves: EN 388 and ISO 13997.

Now you can probably easily understand that it is important to be informed before buying your gloves.

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