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From abrasion protection to chemical hazard protection, there are a variety of glove types to help keep hands safe from the task being performed. Check out this article to learn more about various types of hazard protection and what glove types and materials provide the best protection for the tasks around your office.
There are a variety of gloves available for nearly every type of task, and selecting the correct glove to protect your hands is important. The following guide identifies various types of hazard protection and what glove types and materials will provide the best hand protection for the tasks you will be performing. There are no gloves on the market that can protect a person 100% from injuries, but selecting the correct glove for the task can greatly reduce a person’s hands from the exposures to certain hazards.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) have developed guidelines that help assure the safety of consumers. The ANSI/ISEA 105-2000 standard defines specific performance criteria for different levels of protection, test methods, and pass/fail criteria for determining information such as: cut resistance, puncture resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical permeation, chemical degradation, detection of holes, flame resistance, heat degradation resistance and conductive cold resistance. Depending on the type of resistance tested, the protection levels range from 1 to 6. The higher the number, the higher the level of protection. Using the ANSI/ISEA 105-2000 standard when selecting gloves can help the purchaser identify the best product for their specific hazard exposure.
Many tasks performed today expose a person to abrasions to the hand. These tasks may include: Grinding, polishing, sanding, heavy material handling, hand tool operation, wire and cable handling, and fence work.
Leather and canvas gloves have been used for basic abrasion protection for years, and still provide a level of hand protection. There are many knitted gloves, with protective material embossed into the fabric, or sewn into the anterior and palm sections of the glove. This provides protection from abrasion, puncture, cuts, as well as extra grip. Example of these materials include: Leather, rubber, canvas, PVC, Kevlar®, Dynastop®, Dyneema® and Polyurethane to name a few. The knitted gloves also provide a measure of breathability.
There are over 575,000 chemical products manufactured, imported and used in the United States today. Selecting the correct type of protection for the chemical hazard is crucial.
There are various materials that are used for chemical protection in gloves. Example of these materials include: Butyl rubber, butylvitric rubber, Nitrile®, PVC, Neoprene and latex to name a few.
Chemical resistant gloves often provide you with a guide listing the chemicals that the glove’s material is resistant to. When selecting a glove for a specific chemical, and the chemical is not listed on the glove’s chemical resistance guide, it is always the best practice to contact the glove’s manufacturer.
Cut and puncture hazards are common throughout industry. Persons handling sharp objects, such as needles, glass, razor blades, sharp metals, knives and other blades are exposed to these hazards.
Note: Gloves and loose clothing can become caught in power driven machinery. Quite often this results in the person becoming entangled in the machinery. For this reason, most all manufacturers of cut-resistant gloves will not suggest the use of cut-resistant gloves for protection against powered devices. Gloves are typically tested for use with non-powered blades and sharps only.
Cut and puncture resistant glove material examples include: Stainless Steel, Kevlar®, Dynastop®, Dyneema®, spectra fiber, metal mesh, fiber mesh, fiber metal blends, metal core and super fabric to name a few.
Cold temperatures can quickly cause frost nip or frost bite to unprotected or under-protected skin. There are many insulating materials in today’s gloves and clothing.
Cold temperature protective material examples include: Thinsulate®, Thermolite®, wool, polypropylene, fleece, synthetics and polyesters to name a few. These materials provide good protection against the cold.
When determining the best glove for the task, it is also a good idea to consider whether the material is windproof, waterproof, and the material’s breathability.
Protection against blood and other body fluids is essential in the prevention of disease and illness transmission. Medical gloves are made of different polymers including latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl and neoprene. These gloves are available in powdered and non-powdered. Powdered gloves have a powder such as cornstarch inserted to lubricate the gloves. Latex has been known to cause irritation and allergic reactions to some wearers. In these situations, a non-allergenic material such as Nitrile is available.
Thermal heat protection is necessary for persons involved in tasks such as welding, cutting brazing, refineries, ovens, and other tasks.
Thick leather and canvas is often used for exposures to heat, but in high temperatures, special materials are required for protection. When selecting the best glove for the task to be performed, the heat range protection level of the glove’s material is important.
Material examples include: Nomax®, Kevlar®, carbons and aluminum are used in the protection from thermal heat.
Prolonged activities involved in the operation of certain machinery and tools can cause injuries from vibration, such as Hand / Arm Vibration syndrome. High vibration tasks include: Riveting, grinding, polishing, sanding, deburring, demolition, drilling, mining, construction, assembly and fabrication, chainsaw and jackhammer work.
These gloves have special polymers and cushioning to absorb shock and vibration. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S3.40-2002 / ISO 10819:1996 Standard designates performance criteria that certify compliant gloves as vibration-reducing
July 3, 2012
Author: Jary D Winstead
Work Safety Services, LLC.
Note: Due to the vast amounts of materials used in gloves today, there are numerous registered and trademarked materials that are not listed. Even though the materials are listed in this guide, that does mean the product is or is not endorsed by the writer.
This article provides general information, and is not intended to be personalized legal or medical advice; please consult with your own advisor and review local/state/federal regulatory guidelines and requirements if you have any questions.