How to Choose Gloves for Employee Protection

by Lawton Brothers | Jun 07, 2023

Most hand injuries occur when employees aren’t wearing the appropriate gloves. There are many potential hazards that can be encountered on the job, and gloves can provide a much-needed barrier between a worker and these hazards. In many cases, wearing gloves isn’t just a recommendation, but a requirement. We’re here to help you understand the various types of gloves and their use, so you can keep your employees safe. 

Reusable vs Disposable

When deciding between reusable and disposable gloves, consider the tasks in your facility that require hand protection. If chemicals, medical supplies, or food are involved, disposable gloves are often the best choice. Disposable gloves offer increased protection against cross-contamination since they are discarded after a single use. However, if your employees work with heavy loads, sharp edges, or high temperatures, disposable gloves won’t be up to the task. 

Nitrile Dipped Gloves

These gloves are reusable fabric gloves that are dipped in a nitrile coating to protect wearers from chemicals, cuts, and punctures, while also providing a high level of dexterity, grip, and durability. These gloves are usually used for mechanics, painting, general assembly, and construction. These gloves are much lighter than work gloves of the past that were made of leather and hampered dexterity and feel. 

Polyurethane Dipped Gloves

These reusable gloves are similar to nitrile gloves but dipped in a polyurethane coating that provides resistance to punctures, cuts, and chemicals. These gloves are mainly intended for fine and precision handling, such as meticulous assembly work, or sorting of small sharp parts. Generally, polyurethane-dipped gloves offer the same oil, water, and chemical resistance as nitrile, but with far more dexterity and flexibility. 

Leather Gloves

Leather gloves are much thicker and provide greater protection in extreme environments. They provide a more rigid grip without risking physical contact with materials such as hot oils. Leather gloves are used by fire and rescue teams as well as the oil and gas industry, for rugged, durable protection in high-heat environments. In more recent history, leather performance work gloves have been adjusted to control high-impact interaction and protect against vibration damage. 

Kevlar Gloves

Kevlar gloves are famous for being cut-resistant, thanks to the fibers and the tightness of the weave. These gloves are ideal for people who use knives or sharp tools, like butchers, hunters, and fishermen. Additionally, Kevlar gloves are made to withstand friction for added abrasion protection. When looking for cut resistance, your best bet is Kevlar. 

High Impact Gloves

Impact gloves are designed with an impact protection system that uses segmented pieces of thermoplastic rubber (TPR). This rubber is a key element in preventing impact on bones in the hand. Impact gloves are extremely important in fields with high risks, such as oil and gas, construction, mining, manufacturing, automotive, chemical, and aerospace. 

Disposable Gloves

Typically used in healthcare, food, and chemical settings, there are a few different options for disposable gloves. Latex gloves, which were first manufactured in 1964, were the common choice of industries until the rise in allergies to latex. Nowadays, many companies opt for vinyl gloves. While these offer less durability and protection than nitrile or latex gloves, they are far less likely to cause an allergic reaction than latex. Nitrile gloves are also suitable for those with a latex allergy and provide just as much protection. 

Hand Safety

Still have questions about proper protective equipment for your employees? In need of gloves for your facility? Check out our online catalog or give Lawton Brothers a call! With a variety of latex, nitrile, neoprene, leather, and cotton gloves, we’re bound to have what you’re looking for. Call us today at: 800.432.0813.

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