Construction Workers: Make Sure you Get the Right Gloves

Construction Workers: Make Sure you Get the Right Gloves

21st August 2018

Last week we took a look at hand safety and just how important it is to protect your hands at all times whilst working.  The construction industry, by its very nature, is one of the most risky sectors to work in, whether in the UK (where we at least have stringent health and safety legislation to protect us) and overseas.  This is evidenced by the amount of safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s essential when working in construction, in whatever capacity or role.   Today we’re going to take a look at work gloves and give you the information you need to choose the right pair for you.

The construction industry is the sector that suffers the biggest number of hand injuries, with the number one injury reported being cuts, closely followed by bruises from impacts.  Construction companies are one of the biggest spenders when it comes to work gloves and they expect to get about 10 days or wear out of each pair of work gloves purchased.  According to research, you’re more likely to suffer a hand injury if you work at a company with fewer than 100 employees, this seems to be because larger companies spend more per pair of gloves than do smaller companies.  In general, smaller companies tend to buy cheaper gloves with a lifespan of 4 – 5 days, while larger companies usually buy more expensive gloves that have a lifespan of 10 days.

This means that there’s a real problem when it comes to employers providing work gloves for their employees – the better the gloves, the less likely it is that employees suffer hand injuries.  Upgrading to better gloves might cost more initially, but in the long run, it’s a practice that will pay for itself with a reduction in the compensation payments made to those who have suffered a hand injury in the workplace.

Opting for gloves that feature cut resistance and impact protection is vital if the number of hand injuries is to be reduced in future.  Because the two most common injures in the workplace in the construction industry are cuts and bruises, supplying gloves with good cut/impact resistance is likely to address the two biggest issues.

  • Modern safety gloves are designed to protect workers from a variety of threats, including:
  • Lacerations from rough and sharp edges of building materials such as glass, brick and roofing
  • The potentially poisonous effects of hexavalent chromium in Portland cement
  • Chemical burns
  • Injuries from the many materials and tools that are handled in the course of a day’s work in the construction industry.

Research is constantly ongoing in order to improve the efficiency of PPE and this is the case with safety gloves.  Recent new fibre technology has been developed that provides cut resistance without affecting dexterity – offering tough second skin coating without affecting movement.  Work gloves are increasingly becoming task-specific and hand protection in the construction industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before as researchers in the glove industry strive to meet the comfort and flexibility needs of workers with gloves that have the necessary resistance to offer enhanced protection.