The importance of comfort and fit in safety gloves
After back injuries, hand injuries are the second most common cause of time off work, and wearing gloves reduces their incidence by around 60-70 per cent, according to research by US-based Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.
Despite this, EHS today states that large amounts of workers do not using protective gloves on site, with a common objection being that they feel the gloves are not appropriate for the application, or inhibit the task being performed.
According to ProChoice Safety Gear’s product development manager, Brad Rodgers, an incorrectly fitted glove will often be the cause of this inhibition and increase the dangers of an application, especially when working on tasks that require a fine touch.
“Having gloves that fit well is a critical part of their safety performance,” Brad said.
“Firstly, a good fit is more comfortable which means people are more likely to wear the gloves in the first place and be less likely to take them off.”
“What’s more, poorly fitted gloves – whether too loose or too tight – increase the amount of force that is required to perform a task,” he said, adding that more force meant less control and could also lead to conditions such as tendonitis.
Other issues with poorly fitted gloves include a reduction in dexterity and grip strength while loose gloves are a potential catching hazard and tight gloves can increase sweating.
Fit is not the only consideration when purchasing gloves, with it equally important to match the intended application with glove choice. Understanding those different protection rating systems and a brand’s standards adherence and compliance should form part of the selection process.
This should also extend to the selection of riggers gloves, traditionally simple leather gloves that have not been known for comfort, fit or grip performance. Yet it needn’t be that way.
Brad says the July 2015 release of a new range of riggers’ PROfit gloves will ensure all tasks and trades have access to the best possible protection.
“Profit are a series of synthetic leather gloves designed with the ultimate performance and safety in mind, tailored to provide protection against specific risks.”
“They feature excellent grip and abrasion qualities, fit and feel better, are lightweight and dexterous and have a range of features including silicon grips, knuckle bars, Velcro fasteners and back-of-hand protection.”
“They’re also great to use in wet conditions as they dry very quickly, but won’t dry all crusty and hard,” Brad said, adding they are machine washable without affecting shape, fit or comfort.
Reinforcing the necessity to match glove choice with specific applications, each of these gloves is tailored to a specific use – with features varying from vibration resistance, oil and water repellence, ‘Super Stick’ silicon grip palms, magnet nail holder, extra flow air panels and full or half finger options.
“Every one of the nearly 100 gloves in our range has been designed in consultation with the workers who will use them, to ensure they provide the maximum benefit in safety, comfort and convenience so that there is no reason to take them off and expose yourself to a potential injury,” Brad said.
See the PROfit range here.