Continuing our blog series on how to choose the right pair of gloves for different applications, this guide will focus on thin safety gloves. As you may have picked up from our previous blogs, a recurring factor across gloves of all types is the need for high dexterity, which is where the thickness – or rather, thinness – of work gloves becomes important.
Over the course of this guide, we’ll run through some of the key points to consider when choosing thin work gloves, which applications they are most relevant to, and why, as with all PPE, it is important to choose gloves based on the exact application they will be used for.
Keeping things in hand
Across all types of work, dexterity is likely to be a massive factor in the specification of hand protection. While preventing injury is the primary purpose of PPE, it should not prohibit movement and handling ability to the extent that operators can’t do their job effectively.
As such, it can often be worth looking for thin durable work gloves, which provide dexterity but can still withstand the rigours that an operator will come up against. This is particularly relevant in construction, where the range of hazards on site make constant PPE usage a must. If gloves are cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear, then the likelihood is they will be removed at every opportunity, and therefore put workers at risk.
A pair of thin protective gloves that can be worn for extended periods of time is a vital asset in the promotion of health and safety, as this can help to encourage wearers to keep them on throughout the day. The Pawā PG120 is a fantastic example of this, offering precision handling and comfort thanks to its ultra-fine lightweight liner and advanced flexible nitrile coating. Its comfort and breathability make it ideal for light installation work, such as fixtures and fittings, or electrical installation work that does not require ARC protection. It is also touchscreen compatible – a really important factor in modern-day construction, as the wearer does not have to remove their gloves while using tablet devices.
The other key point to bear in mind here is that thin work gloves are critical in combating hand fatigue. Gloves that offer extremely high protection can often reduce dexterity and essentially make it harder for wearers to move their fingers and grasp objects. This highlights the importance of specifying gloves by task rather than a one glove approach across the whole site (something we will touch upon later), but attention should also be drawn to the link with hand fatigue.
This is where mobility is reduced, meaning that hands become tired very quickly, and mistakes are therefore more likely to happen. PawāFIT™ is a technology designed to alleviate this, thanks to an ergonomic “second skin” design that follows the contours of the hand, ultimately improving comfort and boosting productivity.
Thin waterproof work gloves
Another general hazard that operators will be subject to across a range of applications is liquid. This may not sound like a massive problem, but issues such as dermatitis are commonplace for those who are undertaking significant wet work, and can be a big issue if PPE is not specified accordingly.
Often, it’s a case of keeping the hands warm during bad, wet weather, with work such as construction often exposing operators to the harsh reality of the climate all year round. In these circumstances, opting for a pair of thin warm waterproof work gloves will help to ensure employee comfort (we’ve covered this in more detail in our winter gloves guide here).
In other applications, there are liquids other than water that may need consideration. Highway maintenance works, for example, are at risk of fuel and oil being thrown up by passing traffic. And when you consider the type of work that goes on in the automotive industry in particular, keeping hands dry is critical.
Pawā’s PG202 is ideal for wet work, offering protection against industrial fluids owing to its blue nitrile coating. Crucially, it also benefits from a lightweight seamless liner, which keeps the glove supple and ultimately provides a high amount of dexterity. Those working in the automotive industry will often be required to carry out tasks that involve handling small components in close contact with oils. Ideally, these types of thin mechanic gloves will not only provide protection against hazards but allow operators to undertake complex tasks.
Thin warm work gloves
A common misconception is that there is no such thing as a thin winter work glove. However, the latest technology ensures wearers can benefit from the high dexterity and comfort offered by thin gloves, while simultaneously protecting their hands against the cold.
Pawa PG400 uses Thermolite® fibre technology to provide protection against the cold from a thin, single layer material, and features a ¾ dipped latex grip which remains supple in cold conditions. Thin thermal work gloves such as this are great for applications that require extended working hours in cold conditions, such as cold store operations or warehousing. Using items such as handheld barcode scanners can be challenging in cold environments, which makes thin insulated work gloves like the Pawā PG400 invaluable.
Thin work gloves with grip
Grip is another feature of work gloves that we have often spoken about because it plays a massive role in allowing operators to complete their work. This is no different for thin work gloves, especially when lubricants are involved. There is little point in having high dexterity if objects continuously slip from the hand, and the latest PawāGRIP™ technology uses advanced Sandy Nitrile Coating to maximise grip, without impacting on-hand maneuverability.
Pawā’s PG122 has a high grip, flexible latex foam coating, making it a very comfortable glove, perfectly suited to tasks such as tool handling, fabrication & assembly, and small parts handling & sorting.
Understanding the specific hazards that operators will be faced with is critical. Far too often, a one-size-fits-all approach is adopted to the specification of PPE, which can have damaging consequences for the health and safety of employees. Alongside matching equipment to the required protection, care should be taken to provide a range of sizes. Ill-fitting PPE can cause more damage than good, as wearers may be tempted to remove the gloves altogether if they prohibit them from doing their job.
Our previous blog outlined the potential benefits of getting PPE suppliers onto a construction site, in order to have a toolbox talk with the team and encourage employee buy-in. This is something that can apply to all industries, ensuring that there is a greater understanding of the importance of safety work gloves. Providing this type of open and honest platform is the best way to improve health and safety across all types of work.
The latest technology means that thin work gloves can provide protection against a range of hazards, from cut resistance, to thin freezer gloves, through to general building site work. The biggest challenge is identifying what type of protection your application requires, and then finding a pair of comfortable and dexterous gloves to match it.
Take a look at Pawā’s range of thin work gloves here
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the Supertouch range of High Dexterity Gloves