Most hand injuries occur when employees aren’t wearing appropriate gloves—like wearing cut-resistant gloves when you’re a welder and should be wearing leather protection. Closed Loop Recycling gives you details on how to choose the right gloves for employee protection.
Reusable vs Disposable Gloves
When deciding between disposable or reusable gloves, consider tasks in your facility that require hand protection. If your employees touch chemicals, medical supplies, or food ingredients, disposable gloves are a good choice. You can throw away disposable gloves to reduce the chances of cross-contamination between products and improve employees’ hygiene. However, if your employees work with heavy loads, sharp edges, or high temperatures, reusable gloves aren’t the right choice. Reusable gloves offer stronger hand protection in industrial environments than disposable gloves.
Different Types of PPE Gloves
There are various types of reusable gloves used as personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep your employees safe in an industrial environment:
- Nitrile-Dipped Gloves: Made of fabric and dipped in a nitrile coating to protect wearers from chemicals, cuts, and punctures
- Polyurethane-Dipped (PU) Gloves: Similar to nitrile gloves but dipped in a polyurethane coating that resists punctures, cuts, and chemicals
- Leather Gloves: Work well for industrial tasks due to thickness
- Kevlar Gloves: Ideal for use in industrial facilities due to puncture and cut resistance
- High-Impact Gloves: Designed to prevent hand injuries for workers dealing with heavy loads
PPE Glove Selection Guide
Industrial facility safety managers often struggle with choosing the best type of glove for employee protection. The key to finding the right gloves is to consider the tasks performed by the employee wearing them. Here is a PPE glove selection guide to help you find the right type of glove for your facility needs:
A wide range of industries, including manufacturing, require durable, cut-resistant gloves to keep employees safe. Cut-resistant gloves are resistant to cutting because they’re manufactured with a significant amount of material or stiff fabric. However, some cut-resistant gloves are so stiff that the wearer loses dexterity, which can result in injury.
Kevlar and Dyneema gloves are manufactured with durable yarn that protects the wearer without minimizing flexibility. If you operate in an environment where cutting is a daily task for multiple employees, Kevlar or Dyneema cut-resistant gloves are the best options for your staff.
It’s essential to use safety gloves if you operate in an industry where employees handle materials that require a solid grip. For example, if you run a metal shop, your staff uses cutting tools that add a light mineral coating to the metal. Once the metal is coated, the surface becomes wet and increases the risk of accidental slips. If a slip happens, ensuring your team is equipped with quality safety gloves can prevent injury.
Leather gloves are used for hand protection in the welding business. They are an essential PPE for the welding industry because leather gloves resist sparks and handle moderate heat well. Using leather gloves in your welding shop can also minimize the risk of cuts and abrasions.
One of the most likely hazards encountered on a wide range of industry shop floors is heat. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recommends using thermal, acrylic-lined nitrile or burlap-lined cotton mill gloves in industries where heat-related accidents are likely to occur. Some industries use the European standard EN 407-2 for contact heat resistance. To pass the EN 407-2 performance level one standard for resistance to contact heat, the inside of the glove needs to go up less than 10 degrees Celsius when holding an object for fifteen seconds.
The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and ISEA 138-2019 standard for impact-resistant gloves focuses on back-of-the-hand protection by recommending gloves that dissipate impact from the knuckles and fingers. The ANSI/ISEA standard goes in-depth and defines levels of impact by using an impact-protection scale.
Levels range from one to three:
- Impact-resistant gloves classified as a level one are appropriate for employees in an industry where high-impact force is less likely.
- Impact-resistant gloves classified as a level two are suitable for employees in an industry where high-impact force is moderate.
- Impact-resistant gloves classified as a level three are a good option for employees in an industry where high-impact force is common in the workplace.
This standard for impact-resistant gloves is often used for various industries, such as cargo handling, automotive, heavy equipment, and construction.
Reusable vs Disposable Gloves: Let CLR Help You Decide the Best Option
Improving your bottom line is an important goal, and reusable PPE, such as gloves, can help you achieve it. Let’s say you run a manufacturing facility that requires your employees to wear cut-resistant gloves daily. The average cost of one pair of cut-resistant gloves is $5.00. If 100 employees need a new pair weekly, requiring you to purchase new inventory monthly, you can potentially spend $4,000 per month on gloves alone.
With CLR’s glove laundering services, you save money on inventory purchases and reduce your overhead costs. We offer laundering services for Kevlar, high-impact, heat-resistant, leather, nitrile-dipped, and PU gloves. Contact us today to learn more about our glove laundering services.