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Choosing the right protection gloves

Gloves are protective equipment whose purpose is to cover and protect the operator’s hands.

Gloves have a wide variety of industrial applications: handling, thermal protection, protection against the cold, dielectric and chemical materials, cuts, etc.

The properties of gloves are related to the materials they are made of. The material used depends on the work to be carried out: thick leather gloves for handling; thick fabric or kevlar gloves for work in an environment where the temperature is high; latex, PVC, nitrile gloves for laboratories and the chemical industry; metal mesh gloves to avoid cuts, etc.

Before choosing protection gloves, it is important to make sure that they are resistant to the products to be handled, that they are adapted to the task to be performed, that they are comfortable and that they are certified by the appropriate standard.

View protection gloves

  • How to choose protective gloves?

    Ansell protection gloves

    In an industrial environment, operators may be confronted with different risks:

    Identify the task and contact time

    The gloves you choose will depend on the nature of the task to be performed. Will there be contact with dangerous substances? Will these substances be wet or oily?

    The gloves you choose will also depend on the nature of the contact with the hazardous substance. Will this contact be prolonged or intermittent? Will the gloves be fully or partially immersed? Which areas of the body should be protected (hands, wrists, arms)?

    Keep in mind: thin gloves offer less protection than thick strong gloves but they guarantee better dexterity for the operator. It is therefore a question of a compromise between the level of protection and the dexterity of movement. Short gloves are suitable for simple splashes, but for full immersion, choose gloves that are longer than the immersion depth.

    Take into account the operator’s comfort

    The user must be comfortable with the gloves, they should not be too big or too small as this could hinder the operator’s work. Refer to the size guide provided by the manufacturer to find the correct glove size.

    Keep in mind: if you can’t find gloves that fit your size, it’s better to choose a smaller glove than a larger one.

    Beware of latex allergies, which are increasingly common. In this case, alternatives such as nitrile exist.

    Lastly, hands can sweat inside the gloves, which can bother the operator. To reduce the effects of perspiration, do not hesitate to wear cotton gloves underneath your protection gloves.

  • What are the different types of protection gloves?

    MAPA anti-cut gloves

    There are different types of protection gloves to be used depending on the risk incurred by the operator.

    Mechanical protection gloves

    • They comply with the EN 388 standard.
    • They provide resistance to abrasion, cutting, tearing and perforation.
    • Resistance is generally rated from 0 to 4. The higher the score, the higher the level of resistance.
    • This type of protection gloves represent 80% of the market.

    UVEX chemical protection gloves

    Chemical protection gloves

    • They comply with the EN 374 standard.
    • They provide protection against the permeation of chemicals (methanol, caustic soda, sulphuric acid, etc.).

    ESAB heat protection welding gloves


    Thermal protection gloves (heat and fire)

    • They comply with the EN 407 standard.
    • They are fireproof and protect against contact heat, convection heat, radiant heat and molten metal splashes.

    ROSTAING extreme cold protection gloves


    Thermal protection gloves (cold)

    • They comply with the EN 511 standard.
    • They are resistant to convection cold, contact cold and are waterproof.

    CATU insulated electrical protection gloves


    Electrical protection gloves

    • They comply with the EN 60903 standard.
    • These insulated gloves protect against electric shocks and arc explosions during activities involving voltage.
    • They are often made of natural rubber.
  • Which material should I choose for my protection gloves?

    No glove material can protect against all hazardous substances, here we present 16 types of gloves available, with their characteristics (advantages and disadvantages) and explain in which cases you can use them.

    Keep in mind: for tasks requiring contact with wet or oily substances, use gloves with a rough or textured surface, which give a better grip.

    Cotton and cloth gloves

    • These are the most common gloves used for general work.
    • They do not offer a high level of protection (thin layer).
    • They are mainly used to prevent small scratches, but not to prevent burns and cuts.
    • They can also be used as a lining to prevent perspiration if they are placed under other protection gloves.
    • Fields of application: handling fragile objects.

    Coated fabric gloves

    • They offer protection against certain moderately concentrated chemicals.
    • Fields of application: laboratory.

    Metal mesh gloves

    • The metal mesh is sewn to the fabric.
    • These gloves offer unparalleled protection against punctures and cuts.
    • Fields of application: food processing, woodworking.

    Leather gloves

    • They are resistant to sparks and moderate heat.
    • They also offer protection against the risk of cuts and abrasions.
    • They offer good grip and insulation.
    • They tend to dry out and crack when exposed to high temperatures.
    • Fields of application: welding work

    Latex gloves

    • They are resistant to chemicals, oils, solvents and microorganisms.
    • They are comfortable and offer great dexterity of movement, so they are suitable for precision work.
    • They are very elastic and resistant.
    • They are powdered to make them easier to put on.
    • They are biodegradable.
    • As they are thin, they are not resistant to perforation or heat.
    • Keep in mind that many people are allergic to latex.
      Fields of application: the food, chemical, petroleum and medical industries.

    Butyl rubber gloves

    • They offer protection against acids (nitric acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid and peroxide, etc.) and do not absorb liquids.
    • They are resistant to hot and cold temperatures, abrasion and corrosion.
    • Fields of application: the petroleum industry

    Kevlar gloves

    • They are very durable.
    • They are resistant to cuts and abrasion.
    • They protect against cold and heat.
    • They are robust while allowing a high level of mobility.
    • They are often used underneath another type of glove.
    • Fields of application: all sectors of industry.

    Aluminized gloves

    • They offer reflective and insulating protection.
    • They are ideal for work in contact with heat as they offer protection up to 1,000°C.
    • Fields of application: welding work, furnace and smelting, laboratory.

    Vinyl gloves

    • They are suitable for non-hazardous materials.
    • They have anti-static properties.
    • They are lightly powdered for better placement.
    • They are inexpensive
    • They are less durable.
    • Fields of application: the food industry.

    Nitrile gloves

    • They are made from synthetic rubber and offer a good alternative to latex in case of allergies.
    • They offer mechanical protection and good chemical protection against chlorinated solvents.
    • They are particularly suitable for wet and greasy environments.
    • They are very waterproof and offer good thermal resistance (250°C).
    • They are resistant to perforation.
    • They are not very resistant to ketones and halogen products.
    • Fields of application: chemical, food and automotive industries

    PVC gloves

    • They are acid-resistant.
    • They are impermeable to alcohol and detergent.
    • They are insulating.
    • They are waterproof and airtight.
    • Their protection against aromatic hydrocarbons and halogens is low.
    • Fields of application: the food, chemical and petroleum industries.

    Neoprene gloves

    • They protect against petroleum products, hydraulic fluids, alcohol and organic acids.
    • They are flexible and comfortable.
    • They are less effective against mechanical risks.
    • They are not very resistant to aromatic solvents.
    • Fields of application: the automotive, chemical and industrial cleaning industries.

    Nomex gloves

    • They are resistant to high temperatures.
    • They can also withstand many chemicals.

    Zetex gloves

    • They are flame and spark resistant.

    Viton rubber gloves

    • They are resistant to hydrocarbons.

    Polyurethane gloves

    • They are resistant to abrasion and tearing.
  • When should you use powdered gloves?

    Powdered gloves are mainly in latex, vinyl or nitrile. They have a double advantage:

    • They limit perspiration.
    • They are easy to put on and take off.

    What are they used for?

    • Powdered gloves are particularly suitable for laboratory and hospital activities.
    • They are also recommended for order pickers.

    When shouldn’t you use powdered gloves?

    • Powdered gloves are not recommended in the food industry because the powder, composed of corn starch, cannot be mixed with food for consumption.
    • The powder can also cause allergies for the user. The United States recently banned powdered surgical gloves on the grounds that they are claimed to cause serious respiratory problems in patients.
  • Should I choose disposable or reusable gloves?

    Schilling Engineering GmbH disposable latex gloves

    Disposable gloves

    Disposable gloves are often thin, so as to provide protection and hygiene while leaving a high level of touch sensitivity and ease of movement.

    These gloves provide protection in case of contact with low aggressive chemicals. They are therefore suitable for the medical sector because they prevent any biological and bacteriological risks between caregivers and patients. However, they are not suitable for handling aggressive chemicals.

    While latex gloves are the most popular kind of disposable gloves, vinyl and nitrile gloves also have their advantages.

    • Latex gloves
      They are flexible, comfortable and offer a high level of touch sensitivity.
      Fields of application: the food and medical industries.
    • Vinyl gloves
      They are suitable for short and low-risk use (without contact with dangerous products).
      Fields of application: the medical industry.
    • Nitrile gloves
      They are hypoallergenic and resistant to petroleum and chemical products.
      Fields of application: the food and electronics industries.

    Reusable gloves

    Reusable protective gloves are often thicker than disposable gloves and therefore offer superior chemical and mechanical resistance. They are more resistant to liquids and hazardous products and therefore should be favored over disposable gloves if your application involves handling liquid or hazardous products. On the other hand, as they are thicker, they offer a lower level of sensitivity to touch than disposable gloves. Depending on the nature of the element to be handled, special precautions must be taken.

    • After contact with a highly volatile chemical, gloves can be washed and dried at room temperature before reuse. You will still need to inspect them before reusing them to make sure they are not damaged.
    • After contact with a non-volatile chemical, decontamination can be difficult. Some acids have a high degradation potential. If this is the case, it is strongly recommended not to reuse the gloves.
  • What are the different classes of protection gloves?

    According to the European directives CEE/89/686 and CEE 93/69, protection gloves are divided into 3 classes, corresponding to levels of risk.

    Category I

    These gloves protect against minimal risks such as disposable gloves.
    They are governed by the standard EN 420:2003.

    Category II

    These gloves protect against minimal risks such as disposable gloves.

    Depending on the risks, the standard EN 420:2003 still applies but has other standards added to it:

    • Gloves for mechanical risks (EN 388:2003)
    • Gloves for the cold (EN 511:2006)
    • Gloves for thermal risks (EN 407:2004)

    Category III

    These gloves protect against major risks such as chemical hazards.

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