Gloves are essential to protect people and products from injury and contamination. But there’s one element of hand protection which needs careful consideration when choosing gloves for employees, and that’s grip.

To ignore glove grip is to risk the safety of your people and your products, and possibly the success of your business. There are two major reasons why glove grip is important when choosing hand protection.

  1. Glove grip provides protection

A high-quality glove is critical, not only to help protect employees from cuts, burns or abrasions, but also the less obvious damage to hands and arms that can occur. In his article,The Importance of Grip Strength’, Jason Shea explains that 35 muscles control movement of the forearm and hand. In every-day life, we use those muscles constantly, often to grip. But our muscles cope because we frequently change what we’re doing, giving our bodies a chance to redistribute the pressure from one muscle to another.

But workers in physically demanding environments are at risk of sustaining the types of stresses and strains related to repetitive activities. To minimise these injuries, gloves with grip are essential.

Consider an employee who works in wet conditions. Logically, the glove needs to be waterproof. But without grip on the glove, the worker naturally applies additional pressure when handling the item to stop it dropping or slipping. As a result, the worker is at greater risk of:

  • Hand fatigue from overcompensation
  • Musculoskeletal injuries from trying to grip too hard
  • Damage to another part of the body, such as to thighs or toes

Slipping is particularly dangerous in the kind of environment when workers are using knives or sharp instruments. A slipping hand can easily cut the glove, expose and injure skin, compromise hand hygiene and contaminate the product the user is handling.

Industrial mishaps are not only costly to the welfare of the workforce, but they’re also costly to the business. Injuries can be debilitating and result in expensive treatment and potentially time off work. This puts pressure on the remaining employees, wasted products or damaged equipment need replacing, progress is delayed and profits are affected.

  1. Glove grip impacts performance

A glove that’s not suited to the task can impact a user’s performance significantly. Poor glove grip slows people down. And, if unable to work at a suitable pace, employees can’t meet targets or expectations without putting themselves at risk.

But there’s more to good grip than meets the eye. Organisations need to invest time and effort in understanding what type of glove grip is required for different environments and tasks. Employees who work in oily, greasy conditions may have different grip requirements to those working in wet and soapy conditions. And good grip can be as important in dry environments as wet ones. Working with small components will require a glove with great dexterity, sensitivity and tactility. Durable polyurethane coatings offer good grip and abrasion resistance.

Businesses must assess each application and choose gloves that offer the right grip in combination with other elements such as liners, materials and coatings. That way, workers are not only properly protected, but can also work more productively – handling products securely, quickly and with confidence.

And let's not forget comfort.

Uncomfortable glove will cause fatigue. New ergonomically designed gloves with anatomically shaped liners can follow the contours of the hand, facilitating grip and making them incredibly comfortable. You'll feel the difference when you try them on.

Finding the right glove grip

It’s not always been easy to find products to suit all environments. Fortunately, manufacturers like Stalsen continue to research and develop new materials, fibres and coatings, and seek new innovations to improve the grip of their gloves. Among the latest products to revolutionise the market is the Gourmet Grip glove, which offers TackMax - a unique technology for maximising grip in an allergen-free nitrile glove. There is also MaxGrab which is a new innovative glove with phenomenal grip and an incredibly comfortable Spandex/polycotton liner. We have never seen such 'gripability' from a glove.

There’s almost certainly a glove to suit every situation that can also offer the grip you need to protect your employees from injury, reduce hand fatigue and enable them to work efficiently. Or if there is not one, we can work with you to develop a solution. So, if the gloves you are currently using don’t meet all your requirements, demand something better. At Anchor Safety, we have the experience to help you find what you need among the best product ranges on the market. Get in touch to see how we can help tackle your glove grip challenges.