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This Is Not Your Grandfather's Glove: Hand Protection in the Age of Performance Gloves

July 05, 2016, Posted in News

Some injuries you can't forget.

I will always remember how my grandfather was missing half of his left pinky finger. It's just something I can't forget. He lost half of his finger at work at the age of 50 when a 55-gallon drum of ice cream rolled over his hand. I always admired how he made the best of the situation, and he repeatedly spoke about his work-related injury, so his story went down in the family lore.


Like 70 percent of workers today who suffer from hand injuries, my grandfather was not wearing safety gloves when he sustained his injury. And like 30 percent of workers today, even if my grandfather were wearing a glove, most likely the gloves "were inadequate, damaged or wrong for the type of hazard," according to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Plus, the technology of composite engineered yarns and steel for cut resistance and Thermal Plastic Rubber (TPR) overlays for impact resistance simply didn’t exist during my grandfather's time as it does today—in the age of performance gloves. Fortunately for workers today, performance safety gloves are engineered with technological advances that aid in extra protection, dexterity, durability, and comfort.

Ouch! The Statistics & Cost of Hand Injuries are Staggering

In today's work environment, let’s not forget that hand injuries are the second leading cause of work-related injury—back and neck sprains and strains take first place. The most common causes of hand injuries are blunt trauma, followed by cut and laceration injuries from a sharp object, which account for one-third of hand injuries.

A human hand consists of:

  • ► 27 bones—including the eight wrist bones
  • ► Major nerves, including the ulnar, median, and the superficial branch of the radial nerve
  • ► Arteries, veins, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint cartilage, skin, and fingernails


Because our hands have an intricate structure and a complex anatomy, the potential exists for a variety of injuries. Human hands are truly amazing and are definitely worth protecting properly. The cost of a hand injury can far exceed the cost of a hand protection safety program.

BLS reports that today, the average hand injury claim exceeds $6,000, coupled with a typical workers' compensation claim of $7,000—for a total of $13,000. Plus, the National Safety Council reports the following costs for typical injuries:



OSHA's Top Eight Hand Injuries to Protect Against

OSHA dictates that employers must use personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide additional protection against hazards that can’t be completely eliminated through other measures. According to OSHA, 70.9 percent of arm and hand injuries could have been prevented with PPE, specifically safety gloves.

The hand injuries that employers need to protect against include:


1. Burns
2. Bruises
3. Abrasions
4. Cuts
5. Punctures
6. Fractures
7. Amputations
8. Chemical exposures

Three Effective Ways to Prevent Hand Injuries

How can employers help prevent the eight hand injuries listed above? They can 1) evaluate job site risks, 2) teach employees about the hazards, and 3) provide the proper safety glove for the application.


1. Evaluate job site risks by asking the right questions:


  • ► What engineering and work practice controls need to be in place to help prevent hand and finger injury?
  • ► What tools and equipment will your workers use?
  • ► Does the equipment have built-in safeguards to protect against pinching when exposed to moving machine parts? Are there barriers between your workers' hands and the saw blade?
  • ► Are your workers wearing jewelry that can get caught in machinery? Thousands of employees are injured every year when a ring or bracelet gets caught in a moving machine part.
  • ► Does the worker have to handle heavy equipment or machinery where fingers and hands are easily crushed?

You can always consult with a safety specialist, safety engineer, or product manager to help you evaluate the potential areas and risk factors that can lead to hand and finger injury at your job site.


2. Teach & train:


One of the best ways to behaviorally teach and train is to role play or simulate a hand injury. Tape up an employee’s dominant hand with gauze, then instruct him or her to perform a couple of simple work tasks and a personal task, such as texting. The simulation drives home how debilitating a hand injury can be and will help increase compliance.


Have a Glove Show & Tell: Display several different types of gloves and talk about the specific application for the glove. Reiterate the importance of using the right glove for the right task. (As was mentioned earlier, 30 percent of hand injuries are a result of using the wrong or inadequate glove for the job.)


3. Outfit workers with today’s high-performance gloves:


OSHA says, "It is essential that employees use gloves specifically designed for the hazards and tasks found in their workplace because gloves designed for one function may not protect against a different function even though the glove may appear to be an appropriate protective device." Below are three types of high-performance gloves, all of which have revolutionized hand protection.


Impact-resistant gloves

Impact-resistant gloves, also known as anti-impact gloves, feature dense thermal plastic rubber pads or overlays strategically located along the top of the hand and along fingers to help protect from crushing blows. TPR provides maximum cushioning while not interfering with dexterity. Other features of impact-resistant gloves include padded palms, molded knuckle areas, and extra grip patches. Workers in oil drilling, automotive, and heavy manufacturing environments benefit greatly from TPR technology.


Coated gloves

Numerous types of coated gloves are available today, which include nitrile foam coated, high-visibility knit coated, PU palm coated, crinkle latex coated, and the list goes on. Prominent features of coated gloves include seamless design, breathable knit back, elastic cuffs, and a variety of gauges. The main features of seamless knit coated gloves are their good grip and great dexterity. Solid coated fingers and palm usually provide abrasion and tear resistance. When wearing coated gloves, workers are also able to move their hands more freely and easily in cold conditions. Plus, coated gloves give additional skin protection from harmful chemicals and oils.

Coated gloves are ideal for jobs that require a high degree of touch sensitivity, dexterity, and a superior grip. Industrial applications include general assembly, painting, the handling of small oily parts and components, horticulture, machining, and maintenance.


Cut-resistant gloves

The use of cut-resistant gloves has increased considerably. Glove fabrics and coatings have been improving at a fast and furious pace; thus, cut-resistant gloves are thinner, more comfortable, and provide greater protection. Thanks to engineered composite yarns, manufacturers are creating gloves with superior levels of cut resistance without compromising comfort and dexterity—two major factors in worker compliance.


Engineered yarns, or super yarns, are popular in industrial applications requiring ASTM Level 3 or higher and are heavily used by meat processing, glass handling, and heavy sheet metal handling industries where workers are exposed to sharp blades. Those who work around sharp blades will need to wear cut-resistant gloves. The gauge and cut level required will depend on the specific task.


Get a Grip on the New ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and EN 388 European Glove Standards

Just as today’s high-performance gloves have evolved and changed to take advantage of new technologies, the American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification and the European EN 388 standard have evolved to address these advances in PPE technology and cut-resistant materials.


On Jan. 12, 2016, the ISEA approved the new ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard for Hand Protection Classification. This standard is a voluntary consensus standard first published in 1999 and later revised in 2005 and 2011. A major focus of the new standard is cut-resistance testing and classification. The new ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard can be ordered at

The European Norm (EN) 388 standard is in the revision process and will be released in early 2016.


Below are three key points to help you navigate the new ANSI standard and the proposed EN 388 changes:


  • ► Both the ANSI/ISEA 105 and revised EN 388 standard will now use the Tomodynamometer (TDM) 100 machine. As a result of this important change, the cut level between the two standards will now match in terms of range for most levels. Designating one piece of equipment for cut testing will help to eliminate confusion about glove performance and help safety managers choose the appropriate protection for their employees.

  • ► ANSI will add four additional cut levels for higher cut-resistant materials using a nine-level alphabet scale rated from A1-A9. EN 388 levels through the TDM method will be given a six-step letter score of A through F. Previously, the ANSI and EN standards both had a ranking scale of 1 to 5, which caused confusion because different testing and classification methods were used. An "apples to apples" comparison did not exist between the ANSI testing and the European Norm (EN) testing.

  • ► There are no third-party testing or conformity requirements for ANSI/ISEA 105. Testing can be performed and certified by the manufacturer.


Let's Do Something About That 70 Percent/30 Percent Hand Injury Statistic

Gloves today come in a variety of sizes, price points, materials, and styles to satisfy a wide range of industrial applications. Safety managers have thousands of glove resources and safety solutions at their fingertips to ensure they are protecting the fingers and hands of employees. Ask yourself, "What can I do today to protect my employees' fingers and hands tomorrow?"


Tackle the fact that 70 percent of workers aren't wearing gloves by making sure safety gloves are readily available for the employee. Establish work rules that demand when and where gloves are to be worn. Reward compliance and make sure employees know the repercussions if they don’t comply with safety rules. 


Put a dent in the fact that 30 percent of workers are not wearing the right glove by choosing the proper glove for the application, whether that is an impact-resistant glove, a coated glove, or a cut-resistant glove of the proper gauge. Also, don’t be misled by leather gloves for cut protection. Because leather is skin, it can be easily cut, just like the skin of your employee. Leather, although a popular choice during my grandfather's time and my father's time, is not a good choice today for employees whose jobs expose them to the risks of cuts and lacerations.


I hope in the next year, the number of hand and finger injuries drops significantly as compliance and proper glove specification improve through technology, innovation, training, and motivation. Let's all work together to reduce the number of hand injuries. If in favor, raise your hand!


This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Mary Padron is a MarCom and Event Specialist at Radians®, a leading manufacturer of high-performance hearing protection devices. For more information about Radians' comprehensive line of quality PPE, visit or call 1-877-RADIANS.



Nine New Ways to Protect Hands at Work

March 30, 2016, Posted in News

Press Release

MEMPHIS, TN—March 29, 2016—Radians®, a global leader in personal protective solutions to keep workers safe, is aggressively expanding their glove line to help reduce hand injuries.

Hand injuries are the second leading cause of work-related injuries, which are expected to reach three million this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 70% of hand injuries occur because workers—especially construction workers—don’t wear hand protection primarily because of dexterity issues.  The other 30% of workers are wearing the wrong glove for the application.

Radians has added nine new gloves to protect hands at work. The new line includes protective gloves with dexterity, cut protection, abrasion resistance and thermal plastic rubber (TPR) overlays for impact protection.

“With Radians developments in glove technology to enhance dexterity, comfort and safety, users will be able to select the correct gloves, based on their job applications and hand injuries will decrease,” said Radians President, Bill England.  “Hand protection is one of Radians’ fastest growing product categories because we offer a quality product line with great features. Our product managers and safety specialists are equipped with the expertise and knowledge to help our customers choose the right glove for the application.”

Radians expanded line includes:


  • Three new CE Cut 3 gloves in 13 gauge (RWG534), 15 gauge (RWG536), and 18 gauge (RWG533)

  • Four general purpose coated gloves (RWG14, RWG15, RWG16) one of which is a two-ply winter coated glove (RWG17)

  • One CE Cut 5 glove with Thermal Plastic Rubber (TPR) overlays for impact-resistant protection (RWG603)

  • One CE Cut 5 glove with TPR overlays for impact-resistant protection and a 7 gauge acrylic terry liner for warmth in cold conditions (RWG604)


Radians glove line is available in a variety of sizes, materials, coatings, gauge choices, and cut protection levels to satisfy a wide range of industrial applications. For more information, call toll free 1-877-723-4267 or visit

Radians RWG555 CE Cut 5 ANSI Cut 4 Glove

July 12, 2016, Posted in News

Radians, a leading manufacturer of high performance personal protective equipment (PPE), is excited to announce the launch of the RWG555, their new CE Cut 5, ANSI Cut 4 glove. Radians, a leading manufacturer of high performance personal protective equipment (PPE), is excited to announce the launch of the RWG555, their new CE Cut 5, ANSI Cut 4 glove. The glove also meets European EN 388:2003 standards for Abrasion Resistance, Blade Cut, Tear, and Puncture (4 5 4 3).

This washable, lightweight Salt-N-Pepper glove is 360° breathable and has fiberglass thread wrapped in high performance polyethylene (HPPE) for cut resistance to protect hands from direct contact with sharp edges such as glass, metal, ceramics and other materials.

Its nitrile is thicker than most other breathable nitriles which equates to excellent abrasion resistance in wet or dry applications without compromising dexterity.

It has a seamless design for a comfortable fit and the knit wrist cuff is color-coded to indicate glove size. This workhorse glove is available in six sizes from X-small to XX-Large and is very competitively priced. They can be purchased by the dozen or 120 to a case.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently stated that “70.9% of arm and hand injuries could have been prevented with personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically safety gloves.” You can explore Radians comprehensive line of safety gloves at

For more information about Radians extensive line of quality safety gear, visit, call toll free 1-877-723-4267, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Radians’ PPE gear is sold through authorized distributors.

Source: Contractor Supply

Radians launches new branded line of performance gloves

February 24, 2014, Posted in News

Radians®, a leading manufacturer of performance safety gear for the Industrial and Retail sectors, launches eight new gloves under its Radians’ brand. Each glove in the new product line-up was designed with technological and material innovations that provide maximum protection, high dexterity, comfort, and visibility.

Leading the way in the latest glove technologies are Radians new EN Cut Level 3 gloves: the Radians RWG530, RWG531 and the RWG532. All three gloves fit like a second skin and provide protection against puncture, tear, cut, and abrasion. The RWG531 has the added benefit of high visibility whereas the Radians RWG532 is touch screen capable, allowing workers to keep their gloves on when using touch screen machinery, phones or equipment.

Other gloves in the line-up provide superior grip and dexterity, such as the RWG11 and RWG12, with their anti-slip nitrile dotted palms. These foam dipped gloves are lightweight, breathable, comfortable and can easily be worn all day with zero hand fatigue.

Three other gloves in the new line-up, the RWG10, RWG100, and the RWG800 all provide high visibility protection while serving up other safety solutions as well. For example, the RWG10, a knit dip glove, offers durability, comfort and enhanced grip it wet conditions. The RWG100, an all purpose synthetic utility glove, has a padded double layer synthetic palm for increased durability and reflective silver fingertips to take visibility up a notch. If it’s cold outside like it is right now, you’ll be glad to have the RWG800 in your safety arsenal. This cold weather performance glove also has a REFLECTIVZ waterproof plated thermal lined palm and reflective knuckle strap keeping you comfortable, dry and visible in low light conditions. The synthetic palm is stable in price versus the traditional leathers on the market today.

 “All of our gloves,” says Dan Branson, Glove Product Manager for Radians, “provide specialized solutions to combat the hand hazards faced by workers today. We make gloves for the workers who wear them 10 hours a day, never sacrificing dexterity, comfort or protection.”

You can review Radians new glove line and their other safety products at . For more information, please call toll free at 877-723-4267 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Radians sells its industrial products through authorized distributors, and its retail PPE products, also sold through distributors, can be found online and at major sporting goods and hardware stores.
About Radians

Radians® is a Memphis, TN-based manufacturer of quality safety glasses, hearing protection, performance gloves, high visibility clothing, and footwear products. Radians has partnered with highly respected companies including DEWALT®, Black + Decker®, Smith & Wesson®, M&P® by Smith & Wesson®, Bone Collector™, and Remington® to provide high performance personal protection products. The company has additional facilities in Reno, Nevada; Belmont, Michigan; and Thomasville, North Carolina.



New Product Focus: DeWalt DPG737 Thermal Work Gloves

July 13, 2016, Posted in News


Safety Equipment: DeWalt DPG737 Thermal Work Gloves

Radians' new thermal work gloves use a 2-in-1 Cold Weather System, Glove-in-Glove technology to keep your hands warm and dry while protecting you on the job site. The thermal liner traps warm air, while maintaining dexterity. The nylon outer shell wicks away moisture and provides a wind and abrasion resistant barrier. Contact 1-877-RADIANS.

Source: Contractor Supply Magazine


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