What PPE Gloves Do I Need for Work?
Wearing the right type of PPE work gloves is imperative for protecting your hands against relevant situational hazards. The right PPE gloves not only protect vulnerable hands but increase performance and efficiency too.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right PPE glove, including:
- What materials and substances will be handled
- Situational work hazards
- Level of flexibility needed – thicker for protection or thinner for precision.
- Level of grip for dry, wet or oily tools
To protect employees, choosing a work glove with the perfect levels of thickness, durability, agility, or insulation is crucial. With so much choice, it can be difficult to know where to start. Follow our guide to the different PPE work gloves available from Activewear Group to help you find exactly what type of gloves you need.
Table of Contents:
- Grip Gloves
- Cut-Resistant Gloves
- PU Gloves
- Latex Gloves
- Nitrile Gloves
- Disposable Gloves
- Thermal and Cold Work Gloves
- Anti-Static Gloves
- Chemical-Resistant Gloves
- String Knit Gloves
What are grip gloves?
- Grip gloves have textured palms to strengthen hold on dry, wet or oily tools or materials.
- Crafted with a thin layer of lightweight materials for maximum precision.
- Made with tough, resilient materials like nitrile, latex and polyurethane for hand protection.
What are gripper gloves good for?
- Gripper gloves are ideal for precision tasks – component or materials handling, light engineering and electronics.
- Suitable for construction, warehouse work, transport and logistics, machine handling and operation.
- Perfect for handling greasy or oily tools.
Gripper gloves FAQ
What gloves are good for grip?
- Nitrile grip work gloves offer superior grip as they are resistant to grease, oil and water.
- Polyurethane (PU) coated gloves offer high levels of grip for handling oily or wet components.
Are latex gloves good for grip?
- Latex grip gloves offer a strong grip for wet and dry environments.
What are cut-resistant gloves?
- Cut-resistant gloves are designed for handling hazardous items.
- Crafted with materials to protect hands against cuts, abrasions and slashes.
- Defend against blades, glass, metals, and sharp rubbles.
What are cut-resistant gloves good for?
- Offer good grip and protection in cold temperatures.
- Good for winter work, especially during frosty night shifts.
- Suitable for those who work in food preparation, construction, forestry, engineering and manufacturing, gardening, rail, waste and recycling.
Cut-resistant gloves FAQ
Do cut-resistant gloves work?
- Cut-resistant gloves are not impenetrable. Protective gloves still need to be flexible and wearable and are therefore made from malleable materials which can never be cut-proof.
- Cut-resistant gloves can drastically reduce the severity of a cut injury in the workplace. They can reduce deep cuts or severed arteries to a surface injury.
What type of gloves are the best protection against cuts?
- Levels are a helpful way to categorise the toughness of glove fabric to determine their ability to protect against cuts.
- Cut resistance is measured on an EU standard 5-point scale, with 1 being the least and 5 being the most resistant to cuts.
- Levels are determined by cutting the glove in rotations until the material has been completely severed. The longer it takes to cut through, the higher the level.
- Even though cut level 5 offers the most resistance, it might not be the most suitable for the job at hand. The level of cut resistance you need depends on the nature of your work and how much flexibility you need to carry out your task accurately.
What are PU gloves?
- Polyurethane (PU) gloves are made to be tough, long-lasting and ultra-thin.
- Soft, stretchy and supple properties for a snug, comfortable fit and great flexibility.
- Unrivalled levels of grip and abrasion resistance without being too bulky.
What are PU gloves good for?
- Ideal for delicate, fiddly tasks that require precision.
- Good for cleanrooms, electricians, DIY and manual handling.
- Relatively cheap to produce and for companies and tradespeople to buy in bulk.
PU gloves FAQ
Are polyurethane gloves safe?
- PU gloves provide good puncture and abrasion resistance for jobs with a moderate cut risk.
- They are not suitable for use with power tools.
Are polyurethane gloves heat resistant?
- PU gloves offer moderate heat resistance but are unsuitable for high heat levels.
What are latex gloves?
- Latex gloves offer high elasticity for user comfort and precision movement.
- Excellent grip, especially crinkle latex which provides outstanding grasp.
- Tough and durable for good puncture and abrasion resistance.
What are latex gloves good for?
- Ideal for medicine, veterinary, food handling, hairdressing, lab technicians, chemists and forensics.
- Shields against mild chemicals, fluids and abrasive materials.
- A high degree of touch sensitivity for precision work.
Latex gloves FAQ
Are latex gloves safe?
- Latex can cause allergic reactions and lead to asthma attacks, a rash or even anaphylaxis if you are allergic to latex.
What is the powder inside latex gloves?
- The powder inside latex gloves is usually cornstarch, a flour derived from corn grains.
- Powdered latex gloves ease putting your gloves on and taking them off to reduce the risk of them ripping and can also reduce sweating and moisture inside the gloves to enhance grip.
What are nitrile gloves?
- Nitrile gloves are made of synthetic rubber and are extremely resistant to tears, punctures and chemicals.
- Incredibly agile for great touch sensitivity and comfort and suitable for people with latex allergies.
- Nitrile foam coating provides comfort and a secure grip.
What are nitrile gloves good for?
- Ideal for precision tasks where you need high touch sensitivity.
- Good grip for handling greasy or wet tools and materials.
- Nitrile gloves are suitable for healthcare and medical professionals, cafeteria workers, lab technicians, scientists and tattoo artists.
Nitrile gloves FAQ
What’s the difference between nitrile and latex gloves?
- Nitrile gloves are higher-quality and more durable gloves than latex.
- Latex gloves are cheaper and more suitable for professions requiring less puncture and chemical resistance.
Why are nitrile gloves often blue?
- Nitrile gloves are blue, so the wearer can easily see if the glove has been punctured or contaminated. This is especially helpful for professions where hygiene is key or chemicals are present.
- The blue colour of nitrile gloves also helps people distinguish between latex and non-latex gloves for those with allergies.
What are disposable gloves?
- Disposable gloves can be used once and then thrown away.
- Available in various materials, including nitrile, latex and vinyl, which can be powdered or powder-free.
- Extremely elastic and resistant to tearing.
What are disposable gloves good for?
- Suitable for various professions, including medical, catering, hairdressing, tattoo artists, and lab technicians.
- Ideal for handling solvents, oil and grease.
- Disposable gloves help to reduce the spread of infection.
Disposable gloves FAQ
What kind of disposable gloves are best?
- Nitrile gloves are one of the best types of disposable gloves as they protect against most chemicals and infections and are stronger than latex or vinyl.
- Vinyl gloves are a more affordable option, especially when bulk buying.
How long can you use disposable gloves?
Disposable gloves should be discarded after:
- Four hours maximum of continuous use
- Any signs of damage
- Contamination of chemicals or fluids
Do you have to wash your hands between changing gloves?
- Hands must be thoroughly washed when changing PPE disposable gloves.
THERMAL & COLD WORK GLOVES
What are thermal gloves?
- Thermal gloves have a thermal liner to protect against harsh weather conditions.
- Suited for heavy-duty, outdoor work in cold weather conditions without suffering discomfort or pain in your hands.
- Provide excellent grip for working in the cold.
What are thermal gloves good for?
- Perfect for construction, transportation, refuse collection maintenance and local authority work.
- Suited for outside winter work when the weather is frosty.
- Ideal for shift work that can often be extended into the night.
Thermal gloves FAQs
What do thermal gloves do?
- Thermal gloves have a thermal lining to keep the heat in and your hands warm.
- They offer good grip and protection for outside work.
What are anti-static gloves?
- Designed to protect against electrostatic discharge (ESD) when working with sensitive motherboards or circuit boards.
- Protect the wearer and the product from ESD, which can damage sensitive electronics.
- Crafted for exceptional grip and dexterity for precision tasks.
What are anti-static gloves good for?
- Ideal for working with sensitive electronic equipment to prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD).
- Good for electricians or those who work in computer repair or assembly and can be used with most touchscreen devices.
- Good levels of cut resistance for hand protection.
Anti-static gloves FAQ
Should I wear gloves when building a PC?
- It is important to wear anti-static gloves when building a PC as any electrostatic discharge can damage delicate circuit boards or motherboards.
Are nitrile gloves anti-static?
- Nitrile gloves are generally anti-static as natural rubber latex is an insulator. They are therefore less likely to cause an electrostatic discharge.
What are chemical-resistant gloves?
- Chemical-resistant gloves are made to protect workers from being exposed to dangerous chemical substances.
- Designed with longer wrist cuffs to ensure maximum protection.
- Available with textured patterns for enhanced grip.
What are chemical-resistant gloves good for?
- Ideal for use in chemical industries, lab work or industrial work.
- Protect your hands from accidental spills without restricting movement.
- Allows you to handle chemicals without suffering from irritation.
Chemical-resistant gloves FAQ
What kind of gloves are chemical resistant?
- Chemical gloves are manufactured from various materials, including latex, nitrile, rubber and vinyl, to protect against various chemicals.
What gloves are best for handling chemicals?
- Nitrile gloves are strong and offer high-quality protection against chemicals. They’re the ideal alternative to latex gloves for those who suffer from latex allergies.
STRING KNIT GLOVES
What are string knit gloves?
- String knit gloves are made for manual handling or inspection work with a knit wrist cuff for a secure fit.
- Made with durable fabrics that offer moderate protection, string knit gloves are great general-purpose gloves.
- Form-fitting and highly dexterous to allow for easy movement, high performance and maximum comfort.
What are string knit gloves good for?
- String knit gloves are ideal for manual handling, warehouse work and assembly professions.
- Good abrasion resistance to keep hands protected.
- Can be used as a liner under another pair of protective gloves to keep your hands warm in cold weather.
Choose the right pair of PPE Work Gloves from Activewear Group
Workers deserve the correct PPE gloves to allow them to complete their tasks safely and efficiently.
There is no “one size fits all” pair of gloves on the market to suit all professions, so we hope our guide has been useful in helping your find the right pair.
Always consider the nature of the work, the precision needed, and the level of protection needed against hazards in your workplace when choosing the right PPE glove.
For more information, explore our PPE Gloves collection.