It’s no secret that it can be a struggle to persuade your workers to wear safety gloves in the first place, let alone actually keep them on. Research shows that 70% of hand injury victims weren’t wearing gloves, do you want one of your workers to be part of that statistic?
What are the main reasons that workers removing their safety gloves?
- "I can work faster without wearing gloves”
- "Gloves get in the way of a good grip”
- "Wearing gloves makes my hands all sweaty”
- “My gloves don’t fit very well”
Is the reason why you would put your workers through this discomfort? A cost-cutting exercise? Or just save money in general? Honestly, if you think you’re saving money by purchasing the cheapest safety gloves for your workers, that’s where you’re wrong. If they’re not comfortable, what will they do? Remove them, of course. Then what could happen if they remove them? They could injure their hands. And what are the consequences of that? They would be out of work for hours, days, weeks or even months! Business productivity rates will decrease, and costs will be incurred. Did you know that there are 110,000 lost time cases due to hand injuries annually? (source)
Taking care of your workers is a high priority, not only from an ethical perspective but also from the perspective of business cost.
How can I stop this happening?
Very, very simply, ensure that your workers are wearing good quality, well-fitted, breathable and generally all-round comfortable gloves. Essentially, the points made below need to be solved. Here's how:
“I can work faster without wearing gloves”
If they think this, it’s because they’re wearing gloves that don’t have particularly good dexterity. This is very easily amended and allow us to give you a few tips. Obviously, it is vital that they’re wearing safety gloves if there’s any risk at all involved in the task they’re doing, so if they’re looking for comfort, a bit of research is in order! What they’re looking for are safety gloves that have a suitable cut level for the task at hand and are suited to their own personal preference. The dexterity of a glove is defined by its gauge and coating. The higher the gauge number, the more dexterous the glove. With regard to the coating, there are some types of coating that are significantly less dexterous than others so, before buying any gloves, make sure you check the specifications, key features or benefits on the product page. Usually, the gauge and the glove coating can be found there and if not, consider contacting the business to find out. If you want to learn more about glove gauges, take a look at our blog here.
“Gloves get in the way of getting a good grip”
This is a terrible excuse because it simply tells us that the quote has come from somebody who clearly hasn’t worn gloves with the correct coating for their task, or even someone who is wearing gloves that are so old that the coating has worn down, therefore reducing the grip. Using gloves with minimal grip in a scenario which requires a high level of grip is a sure way to become frustrated and cross, on top of the fact that it’s completely unsafe for your workers. If they find that their gloves don’t have as much grip as their hands, you need to consider looking into glove coatings, and find the coatings with the best grip for their job. There are a wide variety of different glove coatings, some of which will be more than capable of providing the kind of grip they’re looking for. In addition, if the gloves are old and worn down, the gloves are not safe to be used in environments that require a high level of grip, so they must therefore be replaced as soon as possible. Take a look here at our blog on when to change your safety gloves.
“Wearing gloves makes my hands all sweaty”
Have you ever heard of ‘breathable gloves’? If your workers find their gloves sweaty, it’s more than likely that the glove fabric is too thick. Gloves that are too thick are likely to trap heat and force their hands into breaking a sweat. Where the gauge of the yarn reflects the dexterity of the glove, it also reflects the thickness and therefore very often the breathability too. In many ways the thickness of the glove material and the dexterity of the glove directly correlate. The same goes for the glove coating, because even if they high gauge glove, the liner may have been paired with a thick and not particularly breathable coating. Full-dipped gloves are thicker than just the palm-dipped ones, so probably aren’t the best option if they’re looking for thinner and more breathable gloves. Therefore, when looking to buy a new pair of gloves, you should always consider both the gauge of the glove and the type of coating it uses, especially in warmer conditions.
“My work gloves don’t fit very well”
Safety gloves aren’t necessarily all inclusive. You can’t just buy one pack of gloves for a variety of people because more than likely, they won’t fit everyone. Glove sizing is very important, and if your workers find that their gloves don’t fit very well, it’s absolutely vital that they go away and determine their specific glove size. Once they have collected this information, it must be arranged for correctly sized gloves to be purchased. It's simple for your workers to measure their glove size, as there are many glove sizing charts online that can help you with that. You can take a look at how to measure your glove size here The dangers posed to an individual wearing an ill-fitting glove are pretty numerous. If a safety glove is too big, the loose material could get caught up in machinery and cause the individual severe harm. If a glove is too small, the dexterity will be limited, and it will cause the wearer discomfort and could be removed.
It’s your duty to protect your workers. Remember, buying the cheapest safety gloves or ‘one size fits all’ is not a good choice at all. Take care of your workers and their work will be taken care of - ignore their different needs and the consequences could be costly to you.