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Dean Clark

Touch up on tactility with Ansell work safety gloves

TACTILITY is to the fingers what dexterity is to the hands when it comes to PPE (personal protective equipment).

Tactile sensitivity refers to touch perception or sensation in the fingertips, allowing workers to handle objects safely and efficiently.

It is essential for workers handling small parts, objects of different shapes and sizes, and in wet and oily environments.

This includes bolts, nuts and screws; hand or power tools such as screwdrivers, saws, drills and bits and sockets; riveting and punch operations.

Safety gloves that increase tactile sensitivity also benefit workers who have to take time out from other tasks to record data using a pen or a keyboard, letting them do their job without constantly removing and donning their hand protection.

Safety slipping through your fingers

Workers who do not have the tactility needed to handle small and slippery objects are more likely to drop the objects, which can cause injuries such as cuts or result in expensive product re-work or equipment repairs.

Lack of touch can also lead to hand fatigue and cramping because the fingers are unable to easily grasp objects.

Employees, for example, who work in automotive assembly, engine assembly or white goods/durable goods assembly where they constantly insert small screws into sheet metal are likely to suffer hand fatigue if they do not have sufficient tactility to securely grasp and turn the screws.

Nothing to gain from repetitive strain

Lack of tactility has also been associated with repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

Anything that increases thickness in the fingertips such as work safety gloves that are too large or double gloving can hamper tactility.

This can result in frustrated workers removing the PPE because they believe they can perform the task more efficiently by using their bare hands, increasing the risk of injury.

Keep in touch with your workers’ safety gloves needs

Safety gloves with thin coatings such as polyurethane and nitrile, synthetic coatings such as Ansell Grip Technology™, and thin, seamless liners made of nylon, lycra, or Dyneema® Diamond Technology yarn will enhance tactile sensitivity.

Coatings over the fingertips should be smooth rather than crinkled because the latter decreases sensitivity in the fingertips.