Getting a safe handle on winter

Tuesday, 10 May, 2016 | Supplied by: ProChoice Safety Gear

Working in the cold. credit photobac bigstock

With the way the weather has been on the east coast of Australia lately, you wouldn’t know that winter is around the corner. However, as we head into the colder months, now may be the time to think more about your safety, and those of your workers, when outdoors.

According to Brad Rodgers, product development manager of Pro Choice Safety Gear, handling cold, wet or oily materials with the incorrect glove type can create safety issues, since our hands can lose feeling and control when they become too cold.

“If your glove does not have a barrier against that liquid or ice, the moisture soaks through and your hands could become wet, cold and potentially slip inside the glove,” said Rodgers.

“As your hands become increasingly cold and numb, sensitivity is lost and the ability to control the materials you are handing is reduced. Whether it’s from dew, morning frost or guys working in cold storage, cold hands cause problems.”

He said that a glove such as Pro Choice’s ProSense Stinga Frost cold weather dipped work gloves are a suitable choice for workers due to a dual-layered liner. This features nylon and brushed acrylic to keep the hand warm and a PVC foam coating to protect against cold, moisture, oil and grease.

“They are lightweight and breathable and, because they feature a knitted liner and PVC foam coating, they offer excellent fit, feel and dexterity,” said Rodgers.

The ProSense Stinga Frost glove.

The PVC coating also offers good gripping characteristics and abrasion resistance, similar to riggers’ gloves but in both wet and dry conditions.

“Leather can become slippery when wet,” he said. “The Stinga Frost cold weather dipped work gloves are perfect for anyone who is working in cold storage or outdoors during winter: road workers, riggers, brickies, labourers, landscapers and fisheries, or those who are handling chains or ropes that have moisture on them.”

The gloves also work to reduce the occurrence of skin conditions such as dermatitis, commonly associated with frequently wet hands. Workers are encouraged to also look for a high protection rating and to ensure their winter gloves are independently tested by a third-party laboratory to EN388 Protection Against Mechanic Risk and EN511 Protection Against Cold.

For applications where the back of the hand will come into contact with grease, oil or moisture, Rodgers recommends a fully waterproof glove.

“Matching the correct glove type to an application, including a combination of fit, comfort, dexterity and feel, as well as the glove’s level of protection, is critical to ensuring adequate protection,” he said. 

Top image credit: ©Photobac Bigstock

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