The Cold Weather is Here!

Choosing the best cold weather glove can be a challenge….

Once again winter is fast approaching and Safety Supply Illinois is asked “What is the best glove for winter work?” The ideal glove for extended periods in a cold and/or wet environment consists of a breathable layer next to the skin, an insulating middle layer, and a waterproof, but breathable, outer layer. Sounds easy enough. However, there are many other variables that should be considered when selecting the perfect glove.The first thing to look at is the task at hand. Identify the hazards associated with the task and how it could affect the hands. There are several hazards that should be analyzed before making a selection. Does the task require a cut level glove? Cut levels range from one to five with five being highest cut level. Does the task involve chemicals? This is extremely important since chemicals have different properties and can behave differently. Chemicals need to be reviewed per specific properties and directions for use as outlined by each manufacturer. The last item to review is the expected working temperature? This can be forecasted by geographical area, past historical data, or by climate. All of these variables must be examined carefully since they can affect the properties of a particular glove, the dexterity of the glove, and the cost of each glove.Cold weather gloves have had many technological advances. One type of cold weather glove that is new on the market is a foam lined PVC glove. They can be resistant to abrasions, oil, acids, and caustics while still remaining flexible in freezing weather. A great choice for general duty work. Another type of cold weather glove is a glove that has a thermal terry liner with neoprene coating. These gloves offer great comfort in cold and wet conditions. This is a great choice for outdoor labor and material handling. Lastly, leather gloves that are lined with 3M Thinsulate are a great choice for cold conditions where durability and tensile strength are needed. Pig skin leather is highly recommended because they can withstand moisture without stiffening and become softer with use which allows for great dexterity. This type of glove would be recommended for heavy construction where one needs ultimate hand protection.Selecting the perfect winter glove can be a daunting task but if one follows these simple rules it can make selecting the perfect glove an easy task. Determine the physical condition that the glove will be subjected to (temperature, cut resistance, puncturing, etc.). Review and identify the product features required to perform the work (insulation, grip pattern, liquid repellant, cuff design, etc.). Lastly, select the product style that provides the best combination of features and resistance to physical conditions. Choose a glove that fits the hand well, is comfortable, and is accepted by the employee. For additional assistance please feel free to contact Safety Supply Illinois for a free glove survey.