Every year, over 500,000 hands are injured on the job according to the Government of Canada’s health and safety report. In fact, cut injuries are among the most common in many types of workplaces, from construction to food preparation.
Cut injuries can occur by handling sharp metals, jagged materials, dull cutting tools – even less assuming materials like cardboard and plastics. The first line of defense to combat hand injuries is introducing cut resistant gloves, but selecting the right type is critical.
The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) 105 standard is used to classify the performance levels of cut resistant gloves. Ranging from A1 to A9, each level is measured by the weight it can withstand until the glove is compromised. For instance, A1 level gloves can be used in general practices, warehousing, or small parts assembly, while A4 level gloves are used in food prep. A9 level gloves are recommended for sharp metal stamping and sorting recycling.
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As employers are encouraged to require employees to wear hand protection, it’s important to consider more than just the performance of cut resistant gloves.
To encourage use, gloves must provide both protection and practical use so that employees will wear them for long periods of time. Some key factors to consider:
- Proper Grip
- Cut resistant gloves should be comfortable with proper grip and dexterity.
- Bacteria Resistant
- To reduce infection of common diseases, cut resistant gloves should regulate and inhibit bad bacteria and the growth of new bacteria. Bacteria resistance will help keep users safe and may reduce absenteeism due to infection.
- Odour Neutralizing
- Odour neutralization is an important feature to ensure gloves are not removed during the job. The odours associated with sweat occur due to bacterial activity, so a glove that neutralizes those compounds will ensure gloves are both more comfortable and remain on.
- Thermal Regulated
- To avoid excess sweat and protect hands in warm and cold environments, thermal regulation is an important feature to ensure comfort. By absorbing and dissipating heat from our hands, the gloves keep hands drier and temperature regulated.
- UV Protection
- Especially in outdoor environments, a cut resistant glove should also protect hands from UV rays. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UDF) index can help decide whether a glove provides adequate UV protection. A UDF of 15 to 24 is good, 25 to 39 is very good and 40 or higher is excellent.
- State-of-the-art Tech
- Gloves should also provide the latest technology in protection, including features such as touchscreen-capability to reduce the need to take off the gloves to perform other tasks that could compromise safety.
These features combine to create a more comfortable, practical glove that employees will want to wear.
For example, Workhorse’s cut resistant gloves made of graphene fibers, a light yet strong material, range from A1 to A6 levels of durability, catered to the type of work they are ideal for and provide multiple layers of protection. Contact your Bunzl Safety sales rep for more information on gloves that are durable, comfortable and right for the job.
Need help in choosing the right cut resistant gloves for your facility? Download our free glove selection guide.