Which Style Fits Best?
The style options or characteristics of a safety glove may produce optimal work performance and enhance comfort, which cannot be overlooked when users repeat motions for several hours a day. Characteristics include:
* Dexterity, or the agility of fingers, wrist and hand within the glove. Workers requiring a high level of manual dexterity should choose pliable gloves made of flexible materials.
* Tactile sensitivity, which enables users to distinguish between items they are touching holding, gripping, and grasping.
* Ergonomic design, which may signify glove materials crafted of a weight and durability that provide better comfort, fit, and grip. Other specific features include winged thumbs to minimize hand fatigue and improve flexibility or keystone thumbs for maximum comfort.
* Texture or embossment for enhanced grip.
* Breathability, enabling air to pass through for comfort and endurance.
Other options that may be available for specific glove types include:
* Powder-free, particularly with latex materials, to reduce skin irritation.
* Aloe-coated to minimize chapping and cracking for those wearing gloves for long hours in a lab, cleanroom, or research facility.
* Sterilized by gamma irradiation to meet ISO standards for cleanroom use. Typically found in disposable gloves.
Gloves that extend beyond the wrist also provide cuff option:
* Pinked cuff with a zig-zag appearance catches drips in cuff.
* Straight cuff protects skin from chemical run off.
* Rolled cuff allows hassle-free donning for removal.
* Knit wrist cuff absorbs perspiration and adds temperature protection with a snug fit.
* Gauntlet cuff, with a flared design and extended length, protects wrist and forearm.
* Extended length for extra arm protection for handling substances including solvents, caustics, and animal fat or in applications such as cryogenics.
Making a Match
Of course, after an employer or worker chooses the right type of glove, with the necessary features to sustain long work hours and performance requirements, the size of the glove also matters. Poorly fitted gloves can contribute to hand fatique and can also leave the worker exposed to the very hazards the glove is designed to protect against.
Two methods can be used to determine an appropriate fit: measure the hand circumference around the palm area with the fingers together and the hand relaxed; or use a hand gauge by placing the hand directly on the gauge and reading the size. For glove length, measure from the tip of the middle finger to where the cuff edge should be on the rest or arm.
The Right Glove
With so many options, choosing a job-matched glove can be challenging. By keeping in mind the various hazards workers encounters, selecting the right glove becomes a much more manageable task.