Hands are exposed to a wide variety of risks such as cuts, chemical agents, and extreme temperatures. That is why it is important to protect them with the appropriate industry gloves. Construction gloves are protective equipment that partially or totally cover the hand, avoiding possible risks of amputation, burns, cuts, fractures, and abrasions. They also protect against infection or improve productivity thanks to features such as the non-slip grip. It is essential that the worker uses specific gloves for the risks of his job and selects the appropriate size, as this will provide greater comfort and safety.
When manufacturing protective equipment, one of the most important things to consider is the type of material that must be used in its production so that it correctly fulfills its objective. Safety gloves are no exception and therefore, the appropriate material must be selected depending on the function or risk to which it will be exposed.
Thus, depending on the manufacturing material used, they can be classified into textile or coated textile materials, leather or canvas material, metal frameworks, insulating rubber, and materials resistant to liquids and chemical products.
In addition to the type of manufacturing material in protective gloves, other characteristics must also be considered, such as elasticity, thickness, deformability, etc. that influence the level of dexterity. Construction gloves are associated with a level of dexterity from 1 to 5. The higher the level, the greater the dexterity and, therefore, the greater the ability to manipulate.
These levels are assigned after it has been possible to pick up a rod of a certain dimension with the thumb and index finger while wearing gloves. The suitability of a glove for a specific task will require testing on site.
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They can be classified into 3 categories:
- Category 1: Gloves for gardening or for temperatures below 120ºF. Effective against risks whose effect can be perceived in time and without risk to the user.
- Category 2: Intermediate protection gloves for mechanical or thermal work up to 200ºF. Effective against risks of all kinds that cannot cause very serious injuries or death.
- Category 3: Gloves with complex designs for chemical or thermal work above 210ºF. Intended to protect the user from a mortal danger or one that could seriously and irreversibly damage their health.
Construction gloves in mechanical work
In mechanical work, the use of two types of protective gloves is recommended, ergonomic latex gloves and PVC gloves with elastic cuffs:
- Latex gloves are made of seamless cotton covered with latex for humid environments. They provide protection against the risk of punctures and abrasion. They are also suitable for construction, gardening, DIY, agriculture, glaziers, and other jobs with a high risk of cutting. The lack of these gloves on construction sites leads to many labor law legal cases.
- PVC gloves stand out for their ventilated back and plastic cuffs. They have excellent mechanical resistance to abrasion and tearing.
Gloves for work risks in high and low temperatures
Against thermal risks, the use of latex gloves with support and crepe latex gloves is recommended:
- Latex gloves with support are treated in natural latex of cotton knit fabric that provides a rough reinforced structure on the palm of the hands and fingers. They are also waterproof with good resistance to abrasion and tearing. They ensure thermal insulation from both cold and heat.
- Crepe latex gloves are treated in natural latex of cotton knitted fabric that provides a rough reinforced structure on the palm of the hands and fingers. They are also waterproof gloves with good tear resistance and ensure thermal insulation both to cold and heat. heat. Unlike bonded latex gloves, crepe gloves are very thick.
Gloves for protection of risks by chemical and biological products
The best protection against biological and chemical hazards are disposable nitrile gloves. These thin ambidextrous gloves have a smooth exterior finish, are much more effective than vinyl or latex gloves, have a vegetable powdered interior, and have good chemical resistance.
Gloves for electrical work
To protect the worker from electrical risks, the use of special dielectric or insulating gloves for electrical work is recommended. These gloves have high dielectric characteristics, they must be worn with a leather over glove to ensure optimal protection against the electric arc.
Gloves for protection against vibrations
The vibration protection gloves have anti-vibration pads and are suitable for the automotive industry and all handling of pneumatic machinery and electric hammers. All safety gloves must be properly maintained. In the case of presenting possible defects such as cracks or tears that directly affect the function of the equipment and cannot be repaired, they must be replaced. The useful life of the gloves is related to the quality of maintenance and the conditions of use.
Greater attention is required for chemical protective gloves, this is because contamination on protective equipment can be just as dangerous as doing the job unprotected. All protective equipment must be kept clean and dry and must also be cleaned following the supplier’s instructions.
Also read: Vinyl vs Nitrile Gloves