When working on a construction or excavation job, it is very important to wear the proper protective equipment. Most people hear this and immediately think of common equipment such as helmets or goggles, but a key piece of equipment is also a pair of gloves. There are many different types of work gloves on the market, and each type is suitable for a different purpose. Take a look below at some tips for choosing the right cotton work glove for you:
- Knit or cut and sewn?
For general purpose usage, your best option will be the cheaper and better fitting seamless knit gloves. If you have always used cut and sewn gloves, you are sure to see the difference if you switch to a seamless variety. While these are the best option for general purpose, workers that handle hot items or heavy oil applicators may want to choose a cut and sewn glove for the extra protection and grip.
- Are you choosing your best option, or your cheapest option?
Since some workers do not treat their personal protective equipment well and keep it in good condition, it is common for those in charge of purchasing to go for the cheaper option. By tracking the overall cost of your PPE, you may see that purchasing a dipped glove that lasts longer may be a better investment than a more disposable glove. Better quality gloves also mean more comfortable work!
- Decide on gauge.
The gauge, or the number of knit stitches per inch, is an important aspect of a glove. The most commonly used gauge for cotton gloves is a 7, but a higher gauge of around 10 will provide a finer and better fitting glove.
- Look at the numbers!
Cotton gloves go through all kinds of testing, and consequently have a number of ratings and statistics attached to them. By looking at more than just the price, you will be able to get a better idea of what kind of job that glove will do in a real environment. Be sure to check out numbers such as the abrasion resistance and weight. A good quality 7 gauge cotton glove without dots should have a 600 gram weight in order for it to be considered better than low quality. The abrasion rating should be ANSI abrasion level 1, or level 2 if you have a glove blended with nylon.
- What about dots?
Dots are the rubber surface that can be added to the palm and fingers of a glove for better grip. Generally, it is a good idea to use gloves with dots since it improves the grip and the wear life, but do not use dots if you work in an environment where your product could be contaminated (eg. working with food).
- Keep an eye out for red flags.
There are a few surefire ways to tell if a glove is bad quality, and it is a good idea to know these ways so you can spot them while choosing a glove. Check for a reasonably tight knit, as well as a well shaped glove (not too wide or short). You can pick up a specification sheet about your gloves from the manufacturer, which should help you know if your gloves are up to par.