When most people think of safety gloves, the gloves used by the nurse in the doctor’s office or the janitor come to mind. However, most gloves, in their basic form, are meant to provide some sort of safety.
The safety gloves many see in their doctor’s office, and for use by janitors and other light cleaning duties, are waterproof gloves made of latex or some other plastic. These gloves are usually meant for short-term, one-time use. Once used for their intended purpose, they are discarded. The gloves allow a complete free range of motion, but may dull feelings in the fingers and hands slightly.
Another type of safety glove type many may be familiar with are the rubber gloves often used for heavier cleaning both around the home and in industrial settings. These gloves usually cover at least a portion of the forearm as well. They are also waterproof and are meant to be reused. They tend to allow for nearly as much motion as latex and other similar gloves, but significantly dull feeling in the hand.
For those whose jobs or chores require them to work around sharp knives or objects, safety gloves made of Kevlar® may be an option. These gloves allow the user to still maintain an excellent amount of dexterity, yet provide adequate protection. The Kevlar® gloves come in a variety of gauges, some thicker than others. While thicker gloves may offer more protection, they are also likely to limit movement more.
For cleaning around, or dealing with, harsh chemicals, butyl gloves work very well. They are very impermeable to both gas and liquids, making them very good safety gloves for a number of different situations, including working with acid. While they may cost more than other types of gloves used around hazardous materials, they can be well worth the money.
Insulated gloves, such as those used in winter or around heat sources to prevent burns, are also safety gloves. These protect from temperature extremes, where short-term or prolonged exposure could cause substantial damage to the skin and underlying tissue.
While safety gloves can provide a definite advantage against many types of hazards, it is still important to follow all safety guidelines. Gloves are usually considered a last line of defense, not a license to act dangerously. They can provide an adequate amount of protection in most cases, but they cannot completely protect anyone.