Types of safety gloves to protect your hands from hazards

Types of safety gloves to protect your hands from hazards

Safety gloves are an essential component of a PPE kit and a must-wear for workers to avoid injuries while performing any work. Safety gloves act as a second skin for workers allowing them to tackle hazardous materials, tools and chemicals without risking their capability to complete the work skillfully. Unlike all other safety equipment, gloves are not a generic product. To be safe, workers must be equipped with the appropriate type of safety gloves to tackle specific hazards they might encounter during various jobs. 
The factors that are responsible for the selection of safety gloves include the occupational environment, types of contaminations and conditions associated with the application and the duration of the job. Centred on these factors, there are several types of safety hand gloves available for commercial and industrial use.

Disposable gloves
Disposable gloves are designed for single-use and are most suitable for applications with incidental contacts i.e. little or no contact with potential hazards. These situations include protection against oversprays, minor spills, splashes, infectious agents and materials contamination prevention. Mostly made of thin materials such as nitrile, latex, vinyl and neoprene, they allow some sensitivity and dexterity to the user’s hands. However, these gloves cannot be used against sharp objects and strong chemicals. 
Lightweight gloves
Made from cotton or fabric, these gloves provide a thin barrier between the tools and materials and the user. These gloves can protect from contaminations such as dirt, dust and minor abrasions to some extent, but are not generally effective against burns, cuts, punctures, solvents and strong chemicals. However, these gloves can be coated with polyurethane, latex and PVC to increase resistance from minor to moderate against these substances. 
Liquid and chemical resistance gloves
Liquid-resistant and chemical-resistant gloves are most used for protecting against intentional contact with alkalis, acids and other aqueous solutions of significant amounts. These safety hand gloves can be categorised into different types depending upon the solvents or chemicals used in the application, including

  • Nitrile
  • Butyl and neoprene
  • Polyvinyl chloride
  • Polythylene
  • Latex

Thermal proof gloves
Thermal proof gloves, commonly known as heat-resistance gloves and cold-resistance gloves protect the user against extreme temperatures. These gloves are fabricated from a wide range of materials including,
Neoprene: These are commonly used for protection against burn and frost injuries, especially in the case of firefighting. Apart from the thermal resistance properties, these are durable, flexible and functional for various applications. 
Aluminised material: Aluminised material can handle and withstand extremely high temperatures (above 2,000° F). The insulating and reflective properties of the material combinedly make the gloves suitable for high-temperature operations such as welding. 
Cut, tear and puncture-resistant gloves
These gloves are mostly constructed with high-grade stainless steel or poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide (also known as Kevlar). These gloves commonly feature a mesh aesthetic. Being resistant to damage from sharp and abrasive objects, these gloves are designed ergonomically for a precise fit. When the linings are made out of stronger materials such as plastic, these safety gloves offer more protection from abrasion and cut.
Vibration and impact-resistant gloves
Vibration-resistant and impact-resistant gloves are designed to absorb any vibration or impact occurring during industrial operations such as construction work or fabrication. The absorption of these energies is necessary for workers, particularly when they are exposed for extended periods, detrimental to their health. 

Wrapping It Up
The selection of safety gloves begins with the assessment of identifying potential risks and hazards that the user might encounter. This includes even the smallest cut or scrapes as that could lead to an infection requiring medical intervention and days absent from work. 
This article provides an understanding of the types of safety gloves used in industries. Mallcom is among the few manufacturers and suppliers of safety equipment and PPE kits in India that provide quality products at affordable prices. For more information regarding safety hand gloves or related products, please visit the website. 

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