20 years ago, mechanics could be recognised by the colour of their hands, which were permanently black from continuous contact with grease, oil, solvents etc., but now the extensive focus quite rightly placed on safety in the workplace, as well as significantly higher importance placed on personal care, has led to a huge rise in the use of protective gloves.
Furthermore, until a few years ago, there were no disposable gloves available which were sufficiently resistant for industrial or heavy use, for example by mechanics, and the only available solution was to wear uncomfortable “reusable” gloves which left little room for sensitivity and were thus rarely used.
Now, however, technological evolutions in the production of disposable gloves and the application of alternatives to latex have meant that the use of disposable gloves has also become commonplace in the industrial manufacturing sector and in particular in the automotive sector.
In any car workshop, it is now commonplace to see mechanics working with disposable gloves. There are also marked preferences in terms of glove colour and characteristics which differ significantly from sector to sector.
For industrial/automotive use, the most popular colour for gloves is black, in order to hide any residue of oil or grease, as well as ORANGE, which aids visibility when working in poorly-lit areas and assists Occupational Health and Safety Officers in verifying and checking the correct use of PPE. In the case of orange gloves, there is also an element of “fashion” which has contributed to its popularity. In the TV series Wheeler Dealers, the legendary Edd China, the presenter and mechanic specialised in vintage car repair, always wears orange disposable gloves during the show. Even disposable gloves are not immune from this type of influencer!
The characteristics to bear in mind when choosing the right working glove include various aspects:
- The material: latex or nitrile, according to compatibility with the user’s skin. It is a well-known fact that latex can cause serious allergic reactions.
- The thickness of the glove: the thinner the material, the higher the tactile sensitivity. It is necessary to find the right compromise between protection and sensitivity.
- The length of the glove sleeve: disposable gloves usually have a length of 24 cm, but nowadays there are working gloves with longer sleeves that can be worn over clothes and which protect the wrists.
- The finish of the glove: this can be either smooth or with micro-ridges solely on the fingertips or provided with grip throughout the palm and finger area.
Reflexx, a leader in the production of disposable gloves with distribution throughout Europe has, in recent years, expanded its range with various disposable gloves designed for heavy use. In particular, the Reflexx N79P and Reflexx N85 models are particularly popular as PPE among users in the industrial sector.