The Latest in Adaptive Grip Technology for Coated Work Gloves
New technology in hand protection can help workers avoid needing to switch gloves for different tasks.
- By John Heniff
- Apr 24, 2023
With most jobs, workers aren’t just performing one task for their entire shift; they’re doing a variety of things with different materials in different environments. Although this is just a normal part of the workday, it can put workers at risk if they try to do it all in the same glove. A glove coating made for dry environments might not be as effective for maintaining a strong grip on oily parts. Coatings that provide a solid oil grip might not give your workers the tactile sensitivity they need for precision handling. A coating that’s effective in a slick environment might break down after repeated use on rough and abrasive materials.
These limitations can cause busy workers to wear the wrong gloves or even take them off entirely if they don’t help get the job done. With so many workers performing any number of tasks during the day, it can be a herculean effort to make sure everyone is using the correct glove and coating for a particular job. So how can you make sure everyone on your team is using the correct glove and coating?
New Technology in Palm Coatings
PPE manufacturers heard the complaints of safety managers and created an adaptive palm coating technology designed to keep workers productive in different work environments without sacrificing performance or comfort. This new coating enhances workers’ natural grip power, hand movement and flexibility, all with better durability and without sacrificing dexterity, making it possible to handle small parts, rough materials and even wet or oily chains and pipes throughout their shift in a comfortable and light cut-resistant glove.
This new glove-coating technology stands out in four ways.
1. Grip. Special stabilizers in the palm coating enhance grip performance by actually reading and adapting to your workers’ environment. The coating technology adjusts as workers handle objects that are dry or wet, rough or slick or light or heavy. This means your team members can work on all their tasks with a single pair of gloves instead of replacing them throughout the day with pairs that contain different coatings as the job needs change.
2. Dexterity. Even with this adaptable grip, the palm coating allows your workers to comfortably accomplish any task. That’s because the coating’s engineered dexterity lets the glove flex naturally with your workers’ hands so they’re less prone to hand fatigue and the compliance problems that go with it.
3. Durability. This technology also leads the pack in terms of abrasion resistance. Abrasion tests showed the coating achieved over 50 percent more abrasion resistance compared to other popular palm coatings like foam nitrile and sandy nitrile. These abrasion tests are conducted using a sample of the palm placed on a rotating disc that undergoes constant friction from weighted, rotating wheels. Popular durable palm coatings commonly last between 3,000 and 19,000 rotations, scoring an ANSI Abrasion level 4 or 5. This new palm coating consistently endured over 30,000 revolutions during testing, overwhelmingly surpassing the benchmark for a Level 6 rating. This durability gives your workers stronger protection for extended periods of time, so gloves last longer.
4. Versatility. This technology’s smart and comfortable construction can help your workers stay productive and focused and even improve their work efficiency. It eliminates the guesswork of deciding which glove they need so your team will have a better overall work experience in addition to working more safely on the job site.
Jobs That Benefit from Versatile Glove Coatings
Versatile glove coatings can aid workers in many different industries ranging from jobs that involve slippery liquids, dry grip or laceration and abrasion hazards, including:
- Appliance and automotive manufacturing
- Glass handling
- HVAC jobs
- Metal handling and stamping
- Paper production
Whether your workers encounter wet, rough, abrasive or other work environments, new technologies in work glove coatings can handle nearly any task. Stay up on the latest innovations and try them in your environment to decide for yourself if these new glove coatings are the right fit for you.
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2023 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.