Arguably, no piece of PPE is subject to greater wear and tear than your work-gloves. After all, whenever you move your fingers, you’re putting stress on the fabric – and if you’re lifting, pulling, pushing and squeezing throughout the day, you’re increasing the likelihood that your gloves will eventually develop a hole or two.
In some cases, this might not be a big deal. In others, this might be a disaster that renders your gloves worse than useless. If you think that you’re protected when you’re not, after all, then you’re at considerably greater risk from things like toxic chemicals and sharp objects.
Thus, it’s critical that you regularly inspect your gloves for damage. Make a point of doing this, quickly, every time that you put them on.
How to protect your work gloves
How can we extend the lifespan of our work gloves, and ensure that we aren’t spending extra on regular replacements? Let’s take a look at a few strategies.
Clean your gloves regularly
The grease and grime that build up on your gloves can actually damage the underlying fabric, accelerating wear and tear. If you’re covered in sand and grit after a hard day in the garden, then those tiny particles will cut away at the fibres. If you’re covered in paint after a day spent decorating the living-room, then the paint will seep into the glove and create the same problem.
Most gloves can be simply tossed into the spin cycle. Leather gloves might require hand-washing – or, ideally, dry-cleaning.
Dry your gloves thoroughly
If your gloves are perpetually damp, then there’s a higher chance of mould and other nasties growing on them. These organisms, aside from being disgusting and hazardous to your respiratory system, will eat away at the fibres that make up your gloves.
Hang your gloves above a radiator, or beside a window. If you lack the time to thoroughly dry them, you can buy several pairs and alternate.
Buy The Right Gloves
It’s better to invest a little more in quality, durable gloves than it is to buy cheap ones that have to be regularly replaced. You can find high-quality PPE work gloves online, so why not pick out a pair that are appropriate for your needs? Many manufacturers provide a wide selection.
Buy the Right Size
If your gloves don’t fit, then they might present a safety hazard, as well as wearing out more quickly. The extra fabric stands a greater chance of getting caught on sharp objects, like nails, and might actually cause injuries rather than prevent them. Moreover, in practice, you’ll be less inclined to actually wear the gloves you’ve invested in – which, again, will hugely reduce their efficacy. You can get a good idea of your size with the help of this guide from the Health and Safety Executive.