One would expect that the wearing of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) would be on the increase with better products, better availability of stock and general awareness of the risks in the workplace. This disappointingly is still not the case.
Hand injuries come second only to back injuries in the workplace. In spite of this, hand injuries still continue to rise, largely through non-compliance. A 2015 report showed that 12% of all nonfatal occupational injuries in the US were hand injuries. Of these over 39% were due to cuts and lacerations. (US Bureau of Labour Statistics) In the UK, statistics show that in 2017 there were 609,000 non-fatal workplace injuries, of which 22% were handling or lifting (Labour Force Survey). Studies continue to demonstrate that wearing correct safety gloves can prevent hand injuries by up to 70%. Some worrying statistics have been published which show :
30% of workers report that management does not enforce the wearing of safety gloves suitable for the tasks carried out.
21% of workers claim the failure is due to a lack of education by management in the safe use of gloves.
21% of workers report that safety gloves they are supplied with are not comfortable. This includes lack of dexterity, heat retention, lack of grip and poor resistance to cuts or slashes.
Of course, certain industries are much higher risk than others. Glass manufacture and production, glass handling, sheet metalwork, engineering, sheetmetal handling, glazing, military, emergency services and similar all require specialist gloves.
This is where the Flexion Global Xscape and Dymacut glove ranges score so highly. In line with our Cut Resistant Clothing range, we have produced cut-resistant and cut-proof safety gloves that are made from a material which has the strongest fibres in the world. Combine this with a much lighter weight than Kevlar, a soft smooth inside, a better strength: weight ratio than steel by 15 times, by the same measure a greater strength even than Kevlar and excellent dexterity we have a glove that ticks every box. You can find out more about the technology that goes into our gloves here
The measurement of cut resistance is a precise science, and gloves can be categorised into Cut Levels. Our range largely is the highest level, Cut Level 5 Gloves, often referred to as Cut 5 Gloves, although for some lower-risk environments were do stock Cut Level 3 gloves too. Unlike some of the horrific Youtube videos of users attacking their gloves with carving knives, or Stanley knives, which we do not recommend or condone in any way, cut resistance is carefully measured and monitored.
A razor-like blade of a known sharpness is passed back and forth across a material at a set speed, and at a set pressure until the material is cut through at which point metal to metal contact is made with the carrier to which the material has been attached. This test is carried out on a tomodynamometer (or TDM). By this, the cut-through distance is calculated. This forms part of ISO13997:1999 which is embodied in the current European standard of EN388:2016
Another commonly used method of cut resistance evaluation is the "coup" test, used in EN388. This differs from ISO13997 in that it uses a 40mm diameter circular blade that traverses back and forth over a small distance of about 50mm, at a load of 5 Newtons until there is a breakthrough. The number of cycles are recorded and from this a calculation is made that indexes material on a scale of 0 to 5.
0 on the scale is 0-1.2 cycles until a breakthrough
1 is >1.2 up to 2.5 cycles
2 is > 2.5 to 5 cycles
3 is > 5 to 10 cycles
4 is >10 to 20 cycles
5 is > 20 cycles
From this, it can be seen the vast superiority of Cut Level 5 over even Cut 3, and the price differential between the Cut Levels of gloves is minimal. For a fuller explanation of the material we use in our gloves, you can go through to our technology page.