Types of Gloves
Gloves are required to protect from a range of dangers: cuts, burns, punctures, abrasions, vibration, the cold, hazardous chemical, and electrical shock. Each set of gloves is constructed to various specifications.
Also, the gloves that protect the worker from the outside environment must also be safe for the worker to wear and be free from irritants on the inside.
General Requirements for Gloves are:
- Water Penetration Resistant
- PH Values
- Safe level of Chemicals in Leather Gloves
- Protein in Latest gloves
- Water Vapor Transmission
- Mechanical Risks
- Abrasion Resistance
- Blade Cut Resistance
- Tear Resistance
- Puncture Resistance
Specific Requirements for Gloves
Some working environments require specific and different requirements for the following jobs:
- Against the Cold
- Against Ionising Radiation and Radioactive Contamination
- Against Chainsaws
- Against Hand Knives
- Against Mechanical Vibration
- Live Electrical Working
As with many of the standards developed as a result of the EU Directive on PPE, the classification of a glove in a particular test is usually defined as one of a series of performance levels (generally between 1 and 4 or 5). It is then left to the user, following a suitable risk assessment exercise, to select a glove with a suitable profile of performance levels in relevant tests according to the Health and Safety International magazine.
In-House Glove Inspection
As with all safety equipment, regular maintenance and inspection are required to maintain safety standards. It is vital that workers inspect the gloves they use for their own safety. Since the gloves protect workers in a highly hostile environment, they must be inspected before every use. Look for tears, wear, ozone cuts and any other issues. If the gloves are swollen, it is likely that their integrity has been compromised by chemicals.
Any suspect gloves must be taken out of service, despite their date stamp. Before they can be used again, they need to be cleaned and retested.
Official Testing – Offsite
There is a requirement that gloves be inspected and stamped by an outside agency to certify their continued use. New gloves can be used for one year. From that point on they need to be inspected every 6 months.
It is essential to select an accredited, professional facility to complete your inspections of safety equipment.
What Happens at the Glove Testing Site for Electrical Gloves?
Most testing sites will indicate a return date for your equipment upon receipt of the PPE. Once received and processed, the gloves will go through a 6-step process.
1) The gloves are washed and dried. This can be done by hand or machine.
2) The gloves are inspected visually. Then they are filled with air and reinspected. At every point, any visual defects are noted, and the gloves are stamped.
3) Then the gloves with no visual defects are electrically tested. Any gloves that have failed the test are stamped as a failure.
4) The gloves are dried and the final inspection is completed.
5) The gloves that have passed all of the tests are stamped with a new date stamp.
6) All gloves are shipped back to your facility. This includes both the gloves that can be put back into service and those that have failed.
Important Points to Consider About Safety Gloves
A) Date Stamps – Take Care of the Stock You have Purchased
Manufacturers of gloves place a date stamp on this equipment to indicate when it was initially tested. The gloves must be tested before use and then every 6 months after.
The Confusion: Consider this scenario. It is June 1, 2016. You want to use a new set of gloves stamped with the date May 1, 2015. Do they need to be retested? The answer is yes since the gloves were not used within the mandatory 12-month window.
However, if the stamp on these gloves were June 2, 2015, you would not have to test them before your first use. They would need to be tested by December 1, 2016, within the six-month allowance.
B) Dangerous Work Environments
I) Electrical Safety Glove Considerations
- Electrical safety gloves are first organized by the level of voltage protection they provide. Secondly, the gloves are coded as to whether they are resistant to ozone.
- From Class 00 to Class 4, the voltage ranges from 500 to 36,000 volts. Type I are not resistant to ozone. Type II are resistant to ozone.
- Since these gloves are made of rubber, it is necessary also to wear an outer covering of leather to protect against cuts and wear.
- Electrical gloves must pass an air test. They are inflated to determine if there are any leaks.
II) Firefighter Glove Considerations
- The gloves are easy to remove and put on again.
- There is the required grip and dexterity built into the glove, even in wet conditions.
- The gloves come in different sizes to maintain proper fit for individuals.
- The cuff should be cut so that no debris can enter the glove.
- The glove is waterproof and breathable, yet the layers protect against infectious diseases such as TB and are impervious to bodily fluids.
- The glove also protects against any commonly available liquids such as gasoline.
Considerations for Selecting A Reliable Testing Company
When you select a testing company for your gloves, it is essential to select a reliable firm. Here are some criteria you can use to determine their credibility level.
- Certifications for testing is available.
- The company has ties to scientific institutions or industry organizations.
- Company representatives are available for consultation.
- There are well-established methods of communications for timelines.
- You are able to tour their facilities to determine your needs.