Protection Gloves Occupational Safety And Health

Common “Dips” in Safety Gloves

We’ve all been there, you find the exact glove that meets all the specifications for your application and then find out your employees HATE wearing them! Finding the proper level of protection is one thing (arguably the most important thing), but it is also extremely important to find a glove that your folks will actually wear in the field or on the floor. Comfort and performance drive compliance, remember, so having the best in protection will you do you no good if the glove comes off as soon as no one is looking!

Let’s start with common dips. This is the coating that the palm (sometimes also the back of the glove) is made of. Below are some of the most common options you will run across, and each has its own pros and cons depending on application.

Dips:

  1. Polyurethane
    • Pros
      • Lightweight and offers great dexterity
      • Excellent Dry Grip
      • Excellent Abrasion Resistance
      • Economical
    • Cons
      • Performs poorly with oils, greases, and other lubricants (poor grip in these situations)
      • Durability can be an issue as the palm has a tendency to “flake” overtime
  2. Foam Nitrile
    • Pros
      • “foam” technology acts as a sponge, increasing grip in oily applications
      • Form fitting, can take a bit to “break in”, but is more ergonomic
      • Offers higher levels of puncture resistance than natural rubber or latex
    • Cons
      • Liquids can/will “bleed” through the dip over time
      • Dip has a tendency to “snag” or “twist” when turning nuts, bolts, wrenches, etc…
      • Higher Cost
  3. Microporous Nitrile
    • Pros
      • Microporous technology acts as a sponge, increasing grip in oily applications BUT DOES NOT ALLOW FOR “BLEED” THROUGH TO THE HAND
      • Form fitting, can take a bit to “break in” but is more ergonomic than other dips
      • Offers higher levels of puncture resistance than natural rubber or latex
    • Cons
      • Dip has a tendency to “snag” or “twist” when turning nuts, bolts, wrenches, etc…
      • Much higher cost
  4. Latex
    • Pros
      • Excellent Grip in wet or dry applications
      • Excellent Tear Resistance
      • Wide Temperature Range
    • Cons
      • Latex Allergies

There are certainly other dips out there, specifically what we call “hybrid” options that blend a few different materials together to create a bi-polymer dip. These serve the purpose, in theory, of getting the best properties of multiple dip options, while keeping costs lower. These are numerous and each manufacturer will have their own “recipe”. So when you come across these, be sure to ask questions!