Safety gloves (noun) – a highly underestimated aspect of PPE.
Hands (noun) – a vital and precious body part that we take for granted.
Hand injuries occur frequently, but they don’t get the attention they need. Neither does the quality or effectiveness of the gloves worn at the time of the injury. Neither does the fact that the majority of hand injuries happen to workers who aren’t wearing gloves in the first place!
There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t just settle with the cheapest safety gloves, and we are going to give you the key reasons down below for your indulgence.
1 - They’re more expensive
The first reason may seem a laughable idea when considering the title, but we must clarify yet again that it is completely true.
Why do we say that cheaper gloves are more expensive? Because cheaper gloves don’t last anywhere near as long as slightly more costly ones. When we say cheap gloves are more expensive, we aren’t talking about the upfront cost. What we mean is in regard to their longevity and their cost per day. Cost effective is a term you’re likely yawning over right now. But you need to understand, because it will help save you money even if you don’t yet recognise it.
To give you an example, Bob buys two pairs of safety gloves, one for £3, and the other for £8. He wants to distinguish why one pair is so much more expensive than the other. He uses the cheaper pair for 2 weeks until they are worn through. Then he uses the more expensive pair for 2 weeks. By the end of the 2 weeks, the gloves are dirty, but besides that, they look barely worn. He continues to use them for another 2 weeks. And another. And another. Until finally, into the 20th week of wearing them, they finally succumb to the relentless pressure put on them every day and acquire a small hole in the fingertip of the glove.
The moral of the story is that if you work out the cost of the gloves per day, you will discover that the cheaper pair cost him 33p per day and the more expensive pair cost him 12.5p a day. THIS is what we mean by cost effective. You can only know through trial and error which gloves are going to last you the longest and guaranteed it won’t be the cheaper ones! Basically, you probably should buy some cheap gloves… but get a more expensive pair as well so you can compare them!
2 - They’re not necessarily comfortable
Have you ever considered that the reason some safety gloves are more costly than others is because of the materials that go into them? Genius! Cheaper gloves aren’t necessarily going to contain the softer, richer materials that the more expensive gloves will, leading to some potential issues with the comfort of the gloves. Here are three comfort aspects that are pretty much vital in a glove.
- Dexterity: It’s great to buy cheap gloves and all but if they permit little movement, how on earth can you expect to carry out the simplest of tasks? If your fingers are unable to move properly, you may as well be wearing a sheet of plastic over your hand! Dexterous gloves result in increased safety and a better job performance, which join together in harmony to result in a happy glove wearer.
- Breathability: On a hot day at work when you’re dreaming of sitting on the beach with an ice-cream in one hand and a gin and tonic in the other, you are woken by brutal reality as the sweat seeps from the pores in your hands and soaks into your gloves. Ladies and gentlemen, the worst thought, no? Our point is that cheap gloves rarely provide the breathability that you need, purely because, there has been no time, effort or research into creating a breathable glove.
- Fit: A lot of time is put into the making of a well-fitted safety glove, and we can’t say the same for those ill-fitting safety gloves out there. Wearing a glove with the crotch halfway up your finger is a highly irritating feeling and is likely to cause the wearer varying degrees of emotional frustration. More importantly however, gloves that don’t fit are probably going to be abandoned, leaving workers gloveless and open to all elements of potential hand injuries. And did you know that in the case of 70% of hand injuries, the workers weren’t wearing any gloves whatsoever?
These are all important in the makeup of a safety glove. Did you know (you probably did) that if you’re not happy, your work productivity is 13% lower? Well, happiness is not just mental, it’s physical too, and a cheap glove will not inspire motivation.
3 - They could be ineffective
The question is, will the cheaper gloves effectively protect against hazards and actually reduce the risk of injury? The answer? Probably not. Listen to this interesting little fact. Roughly 4.5 million working days are lost per year as a result of non-fatal workplace injuries, which costs businesses about £4.1 billion annually. If a business makes the conscious decision to provide their workers with cheap hand protection, they are putting themselves at risk. The more workers that acquire injuries, the more time they’re going to have to have off work and the less productive they are going to physically be able to be whilst working with an injury.
It makes much more sense for a business to provide their workers with practical hand protection because it will save them wasting money on paying injured employees as a result of their own poor decision making. Making the jump to buy high-quality, long-lasting hand protection is a much safer bet than investing in shoddy hand protection which puts yourself and your workers at risk.
To wrap up this hopefully informative prattle, we want to remind you that hand protection is super important. Remember you only have two hands. If you permanently injure them, you won’t be getting replacements. Is any price too high when it comes to hand protection? We’ll let you go away and think about that yourself.