Five Tips to Effectively Protect Your Hands Against The Cold
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, resulting in loss of 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 (finger, hand, toe, 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.
It’s also very important to use gloves that feature good grip, especially if using gloves in a cold environment. There are many gloves on the market that will protect against the cold, but it’s important to consider the grip for these gloves as well.
Selecting the right lining in safety gloves is key in hand protection. Here are the types of liners to consider when making a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) decision for working in the cold:
- Acrylic – Provides warmth and insulation.
- Fleece – A brushed cotton lining provides warmth and comfort.
- Foam – Synthetic foam padding liner for flexibility and fit in the cold.
- Pile – A synthetic wool liner for durability and a little extra warmth.
- Polyester Fiber – A hollow fiber insulation traps warm air for cold weather comfort.
- Thinsulate – Microfiber insulation for exceptional warmth even when damp.
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.
4. ADAPT 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. Gloves that are 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. 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.