Safety Gloves with Touchscreen Capabilities
By: Rick Pedley, Contributor
Touchscreen technology isn’t going anywhere and is showing up in more workplaces. Use touchscreens safely and effectively with compatible safety gloves.
If you’ve ever tried to use a smartphone or tablet while gardening, on a construction site, or even in cold or rainy weather, you may have already experienced the struggle of trying to use a touchscreen while wearing gloves. Trying to tap or swipe a screen with something other than your bare fingertips can be a hassle: between the attempts to get the screen to work and the moment of defeat when you just take off the gloves, there’s a lot of time lost and frustration. And when you’re working on something, this lost time means lost productivity. In some workplaces, removing gloves to use a touch or swipe device can be dangerous because of the risk of contamination and accidents.
Electronic devices with touch or swipe technology are already a part of many aspects of our lives and will come into more workplaces. It’s important that workplaces make this move because of how useful this technology is in so many industries. Having technology on the worksite can make it easier to pull up data and other information, get training on the job, and report safety incidents and other important information nearly instantaneously—all hugely convenient in a world where speed is key.
Speed doesn’t mean sacrificing safety, though. Keeping out contaminants and potential hazards is even more important than speed in a variety of industries. Luckily, the technology is there to make gloves from knit materials, carbon filament, leather, Kevlar, and more that are safe, insulated and compatible with your workplace technology.
Anyone who works in the automotive industry, metal stamping, material or glass handling, recycling, fishing, sanitation, waste handling or general maintenance knows about cut hazards. Gloves like these will often be made of materials like Kevlar fiber and have nitrile-coated grips in the palm or fingers that enable touchscreen compatibility. With a material like Kevlar, you’re also getting a glove that’s inherently cut resistant and won’t melt, ignite or conduct electricity– it’s a great fiber for many industries, jobs and hazards.
For biological hazards and jobs that require you to keep everything as clean as possible, it’s especially important to wear gloves at all times. It’s also critical to be able to use your touchscreen devices to access critical information, especially if a situation is about to change and health information needs to be monitored. Nylon or nitrile are good materials for sanitary environments, and anything with antibacterial or antiviral properties is of course a must. If you’re going to be working with sharps or other hazards, consider gloves that are touchscreen compatible and also offer protection from the relevant risks of your position.
In addition to cut resistance, many manufacturing, maintenance and general duty jobs also require you to have a good grip and decent dexterity. Gloves that are comfortable and ergonomic will allow you to use your tools, including touchscreen devices, more effectively. These gloves might come with a nitrile foam coating or another coating on the fingers and palms that allows you to feel what you’re doing, which is critical in jobs that require very precise handling. The right material will also make it easier to use your tools and handle small and medium parts even in wet and oily conditions (and could offer thermal protection as well).
Many industries use touchscreen technology now, and if they don’t, they’re likely to adopt it soon. This technology makes it easier to access the information you need to do your job well. It’s just as important that workers’ hands stay safe while they’re working, and if you’re constantly removing gloves in order to handle a touchscreen device, you’re potentially exposing yourself to harm or contamination. Get the best of the safety world and the information world with the right pair of touchscreen compatible safety gloves from your trusted safety equipment dealer. WMHS
Rick Pedley, PK Safety’s President and CEO, joined the family business in 1979. PK Safety, a supplier of occupational safety and personal protective equipment and manufacturer of its own new FR line GRIT, has been operating since 1947 and takes OSHA, ANSI, PPE and CSA work safety equipment seriously. Speak with safety experts at 800-829-9580 or at www.pksafety.com/contact-us/.
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