You need PPE that is ready to put in just as many hours of labor as you do. Professional-grade work gloves make the job more comfortable while also protecting your hands and keeping you safer on the jobsite. Finding the right glove for the job is as important as matching any other tool of the trade to the task at hand. Here’s what you need to consider when choosing your work gloves.
Keeping your hands safe
The majority of your work revolves around using your hands to build, fix and tear down projects; but while they’re important, they’re also delicate. The hand is filled with small bones, all held together at numerous joints by ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscle. You rely on your experience and the sensitivity of your hands every day. However, we all know someone on the site who has lost a hunk of skin or more, and a good set of gloves may be the last line of defense against a preventable injury.
It’s important to find gloves that will protect your hands against the most dangerous hazards. Whether you need cut-resistant coverings, something that can absorb impacts, protection from inclement weather or corrosive resistance, there’s a glove to fit that need.
Determine the most likely threats to your hands, and look for gloves specifically designed to protect against those dangers.
Proper fit is important
There’s a reason we say something fits “like a glove”. There’s nothing quite like the snug feel of properly fitting gloves. You want to make sure you find a pair that’s tight enough to not end up with mounds of material that hinders your grip but that’s loose enough to allow your hand a free range of motion.
A well-fitting glove does more than feel good — it’s safer. It means less extra material to snag but just enough give to protect the skin underneath.
Get a grip
A slip on the job can be dangerous, so safety is key in construction. Whether you’re using hand tools, power tools or just keeping a point of physical contact as you climb a ladder, losing a handle on the situation can lead to injury.
Make sure the gloves you choose have the right surface to allow you to grasp the tools and objects you need on the jobsite. From the smooth palm of a traditional leather work glove to a rubberized palm on a cotton glove, options are available to keep your hands from slipping so you can get the job done safely.
Look for durability
You know the job lasts until it’s done, and you want gloves that can do the same. Durability is as important to your gloves as it is to the work you do. To be clear, even the best gloves will wear out under use. This comes down to finding the right balance of longevity versus replacement cost and availability.
A cheaper glove may need to be replaced more often, but when a longer-lived glove needs to go replacing it may cost you more out of pocket.
Don't neglect comfort
The only people who think construction gloves don’t need to feel good are people who have never worn them on a jobsite. It may not be the most important factor in choosing your gloves but comfort makes it easier to keep them on and keep going until the project is done. It’s also a highly personal criteria that involves your preference for padding, absorbency,and insulation. So take your time to understand what gloves have felt the best on your hands and why.
Proper work glove care and maintenance
Once you find the perfect gloves, it’s important to keep them well-maintained so they last longer. Make sure to keep them in a warm, dry place when possible. Leaving them on the worksite, out in the elements, can ruin the materials, leaving you feeling you’re protected when the reality is that they’re one wrong move away from a rip, tear or slip that exposes you to an on-the-job hazard.
Leather gloves should be conditioned occasionally, particularly after long periods of non-use, to keep them soft and supple. Make sure all-natural materials are allowed to dry completely before storage. With a little care, your gloves will last longer and serve you better.
Find the gloves that fit your needs the best. Keep these criteria in mind, and you’ll be able to narrow your search considerably so you can get the perfect pair. Protect your hands and keep them feeling great with a better set of gloves today.
Barb Abrahms is the CEO and co-founder of PalmFlex. She has over 20 years of experience helping individuals in a number of industries find their ideal personal protective equipment (PPE).