The power of gloves

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A good rule of thumb is when you select protective gloves; base your choice on the type of work to be accomplished, the wearer and the environment in which they work.

So how are you supposed to make sure that you have the correct glove?

An effective way of anticipating and overcoming potential obstacles is to follow a step by step procedure to selecting the correct glove for each situation or application.

The steps are as follows:

 1.    Identifying the hazard

Hazards may fall into one of the following categories:


  • Abrasions, scrapes and cuts

What we mean by this is that the nature of the surface we are trying to protect ourselves against will determine which glove material will work best. Rough surfaces, sharp edges and puncture potentials need to be protected against. There are chemical protective gloves that also give protection against mechanical hazards (those marked EN388) and thermal hazards (those marked EN407).

  • Chemicals

Various chemicals have adverse properties when it comes to contact with skin. The nature of the chemical will determine the nature of the polymer we will have to use to protect the hands. Material Safety Data Sheets, MSDS, from the chemical manufacturer or supplier and chemical resistant charts from the individual glove manufacturer will be used to determine which glove will offer the best protection.


Chemical protective gloves, which are personal protective equipment, are used only as a last line of protection. In addition, the law requires that chemical protective gloves selected are adequate and suitable and that the users are trained and instructed on correct use, care storage and disposal.

There are an important number of issues requiring attention for correct selection and use, they include:

  • The presence of the “CE

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