Choosing the right work glove for the job might seem to be a simple task but not all gloves are made the same or from the same material. As a matter of fact, work gloves are specifically designed for specific work applications. It is important for the employer and understand the potential hazards employees will face each day and provide the proper personal protective equipment for the job. A leather palm glove is not meant to be used for any potential chemical exposure, yet that might be the only glove available. So, we know that no single glove will provide all of the needed protection for workers who have different job tasks and exposures.
The National Safety Council has put together a nice list to help you choose the right glove type for your application as seen below. Looking over the list can help you choose the right work glove making your workers more productive and providing the safety they deserve.
Cotton and fabric gloves: Will keep workers' hands clean and help protect against abrasions. Generally, these are not meant to withstand rough or sharp materials.
Coated fabric gloves: Coated gloves protect against some chemicals. Be sure to look at the MSDS data for the chemicals you have to see if the glove coating type can withstand exposure to your specific chemicals.
Rubber, plastic, or synthetic gloves: These gloves are adequate for oils, solvents, and some chemicals.
Leather gloves: Leather gloves resist sparks and some moderate heat given off from welding applications. Wearing leather gloves can also reduce the risk of cuts and scrapes.
Aluminized gloves: Designed for high-heat environments like welding, furnace, and foundry work, these gloves offer insulating and reflective protection.
Kevlar gloves: The food industry relies on these cut-resistant gloves. Other industries use these because they are cut and abrasion-resistant in both cold and heat applications.
Chemical/liquid-resistant gloves: Below is a list of chemical/liquid-resistant gloves. Notice the materials vary based on the chemicals.
Chemical Glove Types
- Butyl rubber gloves: nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and peroxide
- Natural latex/rubber gloves: water solutions or acids, alkalis, salts, and ketones
- Neoprene gloves: hydraulic fluids, gasoline, alcohols, and organic acids
- Nitrile rubber gloves: chlorinated solvents
Workplace Safety Products & Accessories
Medical Glove Products
Work Glove Products
Safety Equipment Products
Additional Resources for Workplace Safety Kits & Supplies
A Guide to Workplace Hand Protection
Skin & Hand Protection Basics
A Basic Guide to Exam Gloves