November 28, 2017 - Need Protective Gloves? Get The Right Pair for the Job:
Protective gloves are a critically important component of any industrial safety program. The dramatic and unsettling rise of hand injuries on the job was picked up going back at least to 2002, when Statistics Canada launched an extensive data assimilation project on the topic. It was found then, and it continues to be true today, that the most likely injury that a worker will sustain on the job is to the hand. At that time, over a quarter of all of the work injuries reviewed over a two year period, were to the hand. Perhaps more concerning though, was the finding that acute workplace injuries resulted in 465 deaths from 2002 to 2004 and close to 300,000 compensated time-loss claims.
As an employer or worker, understanding the ASTM ANSI rating system for gloves is absolutely critical to know whether or not your protective equipment is adequate (whether you are engaging in unsafe work). ANSI classifies gloves by their abrasion resistance, tear resistance, cut resistance and puncture resistance, though not all gloves are sent for certification under all of the categories. In each category, Level 1 is the lowest level of protection and Level 5 is the highest. New ANSI rules have changed this scale slightly in terms of cut resistance, but until gloves are sent for re-certification, this scale works well.
Abrasion refers to a drag force applied across the glove or hand, and is typically repetitive. If a person were to inadvisably put their protective glove on a belt sander for instance, the speed at which the glove wore down would be an informal measure of its abrasion resistance. In terms of ANSI standards, abrasion resistance is how much of this type of force the glove can withstand from not just any old abrasive, but from a sharp object.
A glove with a high tear resistance, by contrast, is useful in similar applications. The tear resistance is very self-explanatory and may in some cases speak more to the longevity of the glove than how well it protects, depending on the work environment.Â
Cut resistance is probably the most important quality of protective gloves for most applications, and therefore it is the ANSI rating you'll hear referred to most often when it comes to protective gloves.
In some specific industries and roles, puncture resistance can actually be more important than the cut resistance rating of a glove, such as working with stone, brick, sheet metal or glass. Again however, this depends on what the specific job functions of your company look like.
Overall, Level 1 and 2 rankings mean that there's moderate/standard protection, they are typically woven gloves, provide good breathability and are very economical. Levels 3 to 5 then, are what we would call heavy duty or high performance hand protection. They are coated and multi-layered to improve resistance and tend to be extremely durable.
Sometimes, we require gloves for the protection of others as well as our workers, as is often the case in health care and food processing industries. Disposable gloves with industry-leading classifications, at the right price, are then what you need. They can be made with standard latex, nitrile or vinyl, can be powdered, lightly powdered or powder free. They also may have an anti-roll cuff feature so that the gloves stay securely and comfortably on your hand, may be shaped to reduce hand fatigue and have varying levels of chemical and liquid resistance.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)'s approval to use specific disposable gloves for food processing and handling is another important consideration. We carry approximately 10 different types of disposable and knit gloves in-stock at all times guaranteed, which are CFIA approved. We also carry Kimberly-Clark's Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves, which are considered a Level II medical device as certified by Health Canada.
Anti-static qualities, high levels of chemical resistance, high visibility, heat resistance and whether you need gloves which are insulated for winter protection are also important components of finding the right glove to prevent unfortunate incidents at work.Â
A Wide Selection of Gloves
On our website you will notice that more and more of our gloves have the ANSI rating as a part of the image of the glove. That's because we want to make sure we are getting you a product that actually works for your application. We want the ANSI ratings of the gloves we have in-stock to be clear as day, to make it easy for you to shop online.
In total, we have a massive selection of gloves, and only a very small portion of the gloves we have available to us are displayed on our website. As is true with every category, what is on our website are just the products we have in-stock, ready to go out to you at a moment's notice. But if for any reason we don't have an in-stock glove to suit your needs or fancy, there is a huge selection to choose from through our many suppliers.
Partnering with a supplier who has a wide selection of protective gloves available is always going to be in your best interest. As your business changes, industry changes and protective gloves improve, you need a contact who will continue to work with you and have access to the best hand protection at the best cost for you. Getting workers the right hand protection, at the right time, and the right price to get the job done right is something Hansler Smith knows a lot about. Click, call, email us or come in to any of our branches for more information on the products we sell or to have us review your hand protection needs.
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