When to Replace Work gloves – Handy Advice
Wearing gloves whilst working makes sense in so many ways – they offer so many benefits to workers and can protect your hands from all sorts of hazards, depending on the gloves chosen. When it comes to construction work, safety gloves can protect your hands from rough surfaces and sharp edges, and protect your skin from materials and chemicals that they may come into contact with.
However, gloves can and do wear out fairly quickly, especially when they’re being used for construction work – they can take quite a battering. This means that you’ll need to make a habit of inspecting your work gloves and discard them in favour of a new pair on a regular basis. If you wear gloves that are worn, you could end up suffering injuries that your gloves are supposed to protect you from.
Here are some signs to look out for when inspecting your work gloves:
- Worn spots
- Snags or small holes
- Pulls and loose threads in a knitted glove shell
- Peeling coating on palms and finger areas
Ignoring any of the above signs will compromise your gloves’ cut and puncture resistance which could allow metal shards or other hazards through. A worn palm coating will compromise your grip and may result in tools or materials to slip whilst handling them.
If you’re wondering on whether your work gloves need to be replaced, take a look at our handy hints:
- Soiled or Saturated Gloves – these may just need laundering - make sure you follow the glove manufacturer’s washing instructions.
- Lightly Worn Gloves – once you start using your gloves, they won’t look new but may still be safe to use despite some light wear. However, be on the lookout for further signs of wear that mean that the gloves will need to be discarded and replaced with new ones.
- Lightly Soiled Gloves – a little soiling is acceptable for work gloves as long as it does not compromise the gloves’ usability and make signs of wear difficult to detect.
- Thin or Worn out Areas – any thin or worn spots on the shell of the gloves may compromise their ability to protect against cuts, abrasions and punctures. Thin spots in the coating of a glove may compromise it’s grippability. These gloves should be discarded and replaced.
- Holes, Tears and Snags in Gloves – never use gloves that have holes, tears or snags in the woven fabric. Damaged gloves are unsafe for use and should be discarded and replaced immediately.
- Excessively Soiled or Saturated Gloves – when gloves are deeply soiled or saturated with oils or chemicals, their ability to protect the hands is compromised. They should be discarded immediately and replaced with new gloves.
Clockwise from top left: Gloves in good condition – Gloves that are worn and need replacing – Gloves in slightly worn condition that should be monitored – Close up of snag in knitted fabric of glove – Brand new gloves in perfect condition.
As well as following the above advice, it’s vital to make sure that the gloves being used have been designed specifically for the task at hand. Different types of gloves are designed to protect against different hazards in a range of situations – choosing the correct gloves is an essential part of safety.