28 June 2018

Gloves: the importance of comfort & dexterity

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Product innovation and continual improvement can be seen throughout the cut-resistant glove market, yet hand and finger cuts remain the single most common injury in the workplace. Whilst a variety of factors lead to this statistic, one of the most common causes is workers removing their gloves because of poor levels of comfort and dexterity.

So let's break this down...

COMFORT

Comfort may not have its own standard or certifications, but this makes it no less important. For example, if a workplace is experiencing high levels of hand injuries, they may opt to roll out a higher level cut resistant glove across their sites. However, if the glove is bulky and uncomfortable to wear, workers will be far more likely to remove it mid-task, leaving their hands exposed to hazards with no protection at all.

With 70% of hand injuries occurring after gloves have been removed, it's therefore surely a priority to ensure wearer comfort is at the highest possible level.

DEXTERITY

Dexterity is the ability to perform a task or action quickly and skilfully with the hands, with as much ease of movement as possible. However, adding gloves into the equation can sometimes limit the wearer’s capacity to work in such a way, which is why a ‘second-skin’ feel is becoming an increasingly desirable feature in safety gloves.

Traditionally, many protective gloves were created with thick leather to increase protection from cuts and abrasions. Whilst high in protection and durability, these gloves lacked the freedom of movement required to perform most tasks safely and efficiently. Not only this, but their insufficient breathability and washability also made them uncomfortable to wear, and a source of poor hygiene.

Consequently, safety managers have battled between dexterity and cut protection throughout the years to try and achieve the perfect balance for optimum workplace safety.

A NEW FRONTIER

Fortunately, great strides have been made in the industry in terms of innovation and glove liners to balance comfort and dexterity with cut protection.

Safety gloves are now usually made from dip coated knitted liners, and synthetic leather gloves have also become available in the market. Many safety gloves are going a step further and utilizing the latest technologies to create touchscreen coatings with minimal reductions in cut resistant properties, meaning workers can operate electronic devices without removing their gloves and working unprotected.

With these innovations comes an increase in comfort and dexterity for glove wearers, meaning improved worker safety and job performance. Comfort and dexterity also bring benefits from a financial point of view, with an increase in safety causing reductions in claim costs, loss of man hours and reporting time. As well as this, the increased performance levels of workers has a positive knock-on effect with productivity, boosting businesses bottom lines.

As such, the importance of choosing gloves which are comfortable and provide good dexterity cannot be understated. By taking the time to invest in the level of research needed to select the right type of glove for their workers, companies will be saving money in the long term.


WHERE TRAFFIGLOVE CAN HELP

For every glove we design, the focus is on comfort, dexterity and tactility. Your workers deserve gloves that are a delight to wear and will help them get that job done well and on time.

If you're having issues with workers removing their gloves whilst on the job or complaining that the gloves are too bulky to work with, we'd love to talk! Get in touch with one of our hand protection specialists today to discuss your needs.

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