Are Thicker Gloves Always Safer?

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Are Thicker Gloves Always Safer?

Getting workers to wear PPE can be one of your toughest challenges. In fact, 72% of injured workers reported not wearing gloves at the time of their injury, likely contributing 100% to their safety managers’ gray hair! Our research tells us that PPE non-compliance is a direct result of three factors:
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By M.B. Sutherland, Sr. Copywriter, Magid

Breaking down the myth

Are Thicker Gloves Always Safer?

Getting workers to wear PPE can be one of your toughest challenges. In fact, 72% of injured workers reported not wearing gloves at the time of their injury, likely contributing 100% to their safety managers’ gray hair! Our research tells us that PPE non-compliance is a direct result of three factors:

Icon of a hand depicting discomfort

Discomfort

Icon of a hand depicting poor fit

Poor Fit

Icon of a hand depicting unappealing design

Unappealing Design

Magid’s Director of Health & Safety Services, Matt Block, says one reason that worker non-compliance is such a problem is that workers fall for a common myth.

“One of the disconnects I often find in the workplace is people talk about comfort being the most important aspect of PPE, but I find that workers often prefer heavier gloves because they are perceived to offer better protection. In reality, the best solution may be lighter and more comfortable.”

Busting the myth

Round 1

LEATHER vs ARAMID

Leather:

  • Typically delivers only ANSI Cut Level 0 or 1 protection
  • Tends to harden when exposed to heat
  • Can cause workers’ hands to sweat and become irritated
  • Bulkier than machine knit which can lead to workers removing them

Aramid:

  • Higher levels of cut protection than leather (cut protection varies based on weight)
  • Inherently flame resistant and heat resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Comfortable and offers good dexterity and pliability
Round 2

ARAMID vs HPPE

Aramid:

  • Has lower cut protection when compared to an HPPE product of the same weight
  • A 10 gauge Aramid will be heavier in weight than a 13 gauge HPPE
  • Good in circumstances that require flame or heat protection

HPPE:

  • Higher cut protection when compared to an Aramid product of the same weight
  • A 13 gauge HPPE glove is lighter weight than a 10 gauge Aramid glove
  • Cool to the touch, which keeps workers more comfortable over a long shift
  • Will melt if exposed to open flame or excessive heat
  • A 13 gauge glove offers more dexterity so workers need less force to pick up an object, reducing hand fatigue
Round 3

HPPE vs DX TECHNOLOGY

HPPE:

  • Cool to the touch
  • Lightweight construction
  • The yarn core is commonly made up of steel or fiberglass which increases cut protection but can cause skin irritations
  • Bulkier than machine knit which can lead to workers removing them

DX Technology:

  • 20% lighter than a traditional HPPE of the same cut level
  • Provides a cool feeling on the skin
  • Uses non-irritating, strength-enhancing micro particles to achieve higher levels of cut protection without fiberglass or steel discomfort

And the winner is...

Trophy

Turns out, it depends on the job! For flame resistance, Aramid gloves may be your best option. If you’re looking for the most comfortable lightweight glove, DX Technology might be the answer.

The one thing that’s clear is that a thicker material doesn’t mean better overall protection. Technology has reached the point where manufacturers can offer lightweight gloves with equal or even greater cut protection than traditional materials. And you can increase PPE compliance by offering workers lightweight, comfortable gloves that they won’t want to take off. So the next time you’re tempted to reach for that thick, bulky glove, take a moment to review the job requirements and determine if a lighter glove may be a better fit.

See the lightest cut-resistant glove ever!