Oil and Gas Industry Cut Resistant Gloves

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Oil and Gas Industry Cut Resistant Gloves

oil and gas industry cut resistant gloves

Most of us consider our hands to be our most reliable and dependable tools. Our hands are often thought of as strong and sturdy, but in fact they are quite fragile, especially when we work in high-risk environments.

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Statistics

Hand injuries account for 20% of all disabling injuries. 186,830 of these injuries resulted in days away from work, with an average of 5 days missed due to hand injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2012). Furthermore, the average cost of a recordable laceration to the hand is $40,023.

In most cases, these hand injuries could have been prevented if post-accident investigations were conducted. Seventy percent of employees who sustained hand injuries were not wearing any hand protection, while thirty percent of those who did were wearing the wrong type of glove.

Hazards associated with the oil and gas industry

One of the most hazardous industries in the United States is the oil and gas industry. While there are strict controls in place to manage the fire and explosion risks on job sites, there are also less obvious risks, such as those to hands and fingers.
In oil and gas operations, you work with heavy tools, drills, chains, and other heavy equipment in a fast-paced environment. It is also common to have oil or grease contamination, which makes gripping difficult, increasing the risk of smashes, pinches, and cuts.
For an understandable reason, hand injuries are a common topic in safety meetings and toolbox talks. A total of 53% of all hand injuries were caused by drillmen and floorhands. It is likely that the total number of hand injuries in this industry is higher since utility workers are not included. Hand and finger injuries comprise between 50% and 80% of all recordable injuries in the oil and gas industry.

Cut-Resistant Gloves

Cutting-resistant gloves are safety gloves that can withstand longitudinal cuts under a certain amount of pressure. They are not puncture-resistant gloves, which can withstand downward piercing pressure, though some gloves have both properties.
In this article, the focus is on cut resistance. We should also note that, due to the possibility of oil and grease contamination, most safety gloves used in the oil and gas industry should not only be cut- and impact-resistant, but also be water- and oil-proof, and have good grip even when they are contaminated.

In addition, since there are so many high-speed moving parts, the gloves should be snug to the hand to avoid becoming tangled.

Cut resistant gloves Standards

In this article, we will make reference to the ANSI standard only. There are two major international standards that define the different levels of cut resistance. European, Canadian, South American, and Asian countries follow the EN 388 standard, while the United States follows the ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard.

europe
The two standards are not equivalent and their differences stem from different testing procedures. In the ANSI system, a blade is dragged over the material, while in the EN system, a blade rolls over the material. In order to understand the force applied in the EN tests, multiply the Newtons by 10 (actually 9.8 is more precise, but 10 is easier math).

We will refer only to the ANSI standard in this article.

Cut Resistance Levels

According to ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, there are nine different levels of cut resistance, labeled A1 (weakest) through A9 (strongest). Each level indicates how much pressure (in grams) is needed for a blade to cut (longitudinally) through 25 mm of material.

How the Test Is Conducted

  • The glove sample is placed on a conductive strip and loaded onto the TDM-100 (the machine used for the test).
  • There is a straight blade loaded into the machine
  • Weight is added to serve as force
  • As the blade moves across the fabric
  • The test is terminated when the metal blade touches the metal strip
  • To ensure accuracy, the blade is replaced with a new one
  • Each sample is cut five times with three different loads
  • The distance traveled by various forces to cause cutting through is recorded
  • The data is used to determine the load needed to cut through the sample

Cut Resistance Table

Cut Resistance Level

Grams of Pressure

Applications

A1

200-499

Assembly, Maintenance, Material Handling, and Shipping and Receiving

A2

500-999

Assembly, Appliance Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Maintenance, Material Handling, Metal Handling, Heavier Kitchen Preparation, Glass Handling

A3

1000-1499

Assembly, Appliance Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Maintenance, Material Handling, Metal Handling, Heavier Kitchen Preparation, Glass Handling

A4

1500-2199

Appliance Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Glass Handling, Machining, Metal Handling, Metal Stamping, Paper Production, Intense Kitchen Preparation, Glass Handling

A5

2200-2999

Appliance Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Glass Handling, Machining, Metal Handling, Metal Stamping, Paper Production, High-Risk Kitchen Preparation, Butcher Shops, Meat and Poultry Applications

A6

3000-3999

Appliance Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction, Glass Handling, Machining, Metal Handling, Metal Stamping, Paper Production

A7

4000-4999

Assembly or movement of large, bulky, or heavy objects with sharp edges (also recommended for assembly or movement of items that are difficult to grip)

A8

5000-5999

Assembly or movement of large, bulky, or heavy objects with sharp edges (also recommended for assembly or movement of items that are difficult to grip)

A9

6000+

Assembly or movement of large, bulky, or heavy objects with sharp edges (also recommended for assembly or movement of items that are difficult to grip)

The level of protection indicated in the table indicates that a blade applying that amount of force to a glove material will not cause a cut longer than 2.5 cm, although the blade might still penetrate the material.

Owing to the nature of their work, most oil and gas companies require that the safety gloves they wear on their sites have a cut resistance level of A5, while a minority of tasks require A7 cut resistance gloves.

Cut Resistant gloves Materials

Despite a huge number of names on the market, 98% of cut-resistant gloves are made from only three materials:

  • Yarn made from Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) (e.g. Spectra, Dyneema, TenActiv)
  • Kevlar, XKS, Aramex, Rhino, Metalguard, Armcore are examples of para-aramid yarns.
  • Mesh made of steel

In the oil and gas sector, the first two materials are most common. When choosing one material over the other, you need to consider the hazards on site and your needs.

Para-aramids

It is believed that para-aramids are five times stronger than steel and are naturally flame-resistant. Live sites would probably require para-aramid gloves.

Gloves made from Para-aramids are easily washable, extending their lifetime, especially in dirty environments.

They have better insulation properties, which is extremely helpful in cold climates such as North Dakota and Alberta.

This is because a lot of oil and gas work is done in the cold season. Para-aramids, however, provide better puncture protection than cut protection. A high-density knit fiber cover is required for cut protection levels above A5, which makes the glove bulky and uncomfortable.

Para-aramids also have poor chemical resistance and poor abrasion resistance, requiring a coating or cover glove (though coated palms are common for oil and gas gloves).

UHMWPE

Unlike para-aramids, UHMWPE is 40% stronger, making it an ideal material for gloves that provide high levels of cut protection.

In addition to its excellent dexterity, UHMWPE feels cool to the touch and is comfortable and lightweight.

It is also resistant to abrasion, chemicals, water, humidity, and UV light – all of which are common in oil and gas worksites. Additionally, these gloves can be washed, reducing the cost of ownership for companies.

Despite its superiority over Para-aramids in most areas, UHMWPE is a poor insulator, so it needs additional insulation for winter work, which makes the glove bulky.

Conclusion

Hand and finger injuries are among the most common non-fatal workplace injuries, and their severity can often be reduced by using the right gloves. A company’s employer must evaluate the hazards, provide the appropriate gloves, and ensure that the gloves are worn.

Sophia Zhang

Sophia Zhang

Sophia Zhang, Marketing Manager of Anbu Safety, specializes in write personal protective equipment article, construction safety equipment, healty PPE, medical PPE etc industry blog.

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