Overcoming Complaints About Wearing Protective Gloves

By Julie McFater Feb 3, 2015
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Gloves are the frontline protection for the hands. Proper glove usage can reduce or eliminate injuries due to heat, cold, pinching, slicing and punctures.

If gloves are not being worn, they cannot do their job. Yet we’ve all seen it—pairs of gloves lay discarded on top of a machine as workers get their hands banged, bruised and sliced. Why is this?

Here are some of the main complaints about wearing safety gloves and ways to address them.

Gloves Are for Girls

Well, this is actually true. Gloves are also for boys. And women. And men. So let’s not be ridiculous.

Gloves Are Too Hot and Make My Hands Sweat

When working in a high temperature (or low temperature) environment, this can be a common complaint. Gloves that keep workers’ hands too warm will cause them to sweat. If the gloves are made of a material on the inside that holds the sweat against the skin, this can lead to an uncomfortable workday.

Many types of work gloves are made of materials, such as HPPE or nylon, which either breathe well or wick moisture away from the hands. Consider purchasing gloves that are made of these types of materials.

Gloves Are Too Bulky and I Can’t Do My Work

When working with hand tools or in situations where fine work might be required, this can be a common complaint. Pointing out what astronauts can do with gloves that are useable in space will probably not endear yourself to your workers.

Instead, investigate lightweight but strong materials. Innovations in yarn technology have completely changed what is available on the market. Composite knit gloves with Kevlar are a perfect example of a glove that can provide maximum protection while keeping the bulk of the glove down. A good rule of thumb for a general purpose glove/high dexterity glove, is you should be able to pick up a quarter without too much trouble.

Gloves Are Just Uncomfortable

The feel of material on skin is a very personal experience. At times, no matter what glove choice you make for your workers, some of them may not want to have a particular material rubbing their skin. It just makes them uncomfortable.

A good way to mitigate this problem is to trial several different styles and sizes of gloves, and get workers’ feedback. This way, workers can choose what feels best to them and feel ownership of their personal protective equipment.

Julie McFater is marketing and communications manager at Superior Glove Works based in Ontario, Canada.

Copyright 2015 © Superior Glove. All rights reserved.​

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