Trades working outside all year long know from experience that their hands are more vulnerable to the cold and its resulting damages. As the skin of the hand is thin with a high concentration of blood vessels, they can get cold very easily, thus losing their mobility, and even turning a simple injury into a real disability.
Understanding how to protect your hands against the cold with a pair of gloves designed for that purpose is essential to continue working in optimum comfort and safety.
Discover the 5 key criteria for hand protection
1. Humidity is a real danger
In direct contact with the skin, water increases conductivity which accelerates calorie loss, thus energy. Any excessive energy loss will cause premature fatigue in addition to the discomfort from the cold. Humidity in a cold environment can lead to frostbite with initial symptoms being a tingling sensation that may go as far as complete and prolonged paralysis of a limb (hand, arm, foot, ...) Gloves with waterproof coating are ideal to prevent damages and ensure maximum comfort. Elastic wrists can provide full protection in rainy weather.
2. Choose the composition of your gloves
Depending on the materials used, your gloves may be more or less efficient at protecting you against the cold, humidity, sharp surfaces or any other aggression. Work gloves are often made of polycotton, PVC, polyester or latex-coated acrylic for heavy maintenance tasks.
3. Choose the right glove size
The size of the gloves you are wearing is equally important to provide the best possible protection. If a pair of gloves is too big, wind and rain can penetrate and cancel all insulating properties of your equipment, regardless of their quality. A pair too small may not fit properly on your fingers and wrist causing retention problems. Also, tight gloves can cut off the blood flow to your fingers, significantly reducing motricity.
4. Adapted to outdoor conditions
Know the types of conditions from which you must protect your hands: cold and dry air, cold humidity and sharp surfaces, rain and abrasive surfaces... Models composed of elastic fibers around the wrist will protect you against the wind, rain and snow.
5. Tailored for your work
According to your activity, you are more or less exposed to some specific risks. Concerning protective gloves for professional use, different standards can help you choose the right equipment adapted to your needs. Cut and abrasion standards, as well as thermal and waterproof resistance, are essential to ensure laboratory-tested protection.
Be aware that over time and due to repeated use, gloves can get damaged. Consequently, they must be replaced regularly. Take care of your gloves by washing them and letting them air dry, which will extend their service life. Hand injuries caused by the cold can sometimes be irreversible; the risk must not be downplayed. Quality equipment, even if expensive, is worth taking into account.