• Jane
    Hi everyone,
    We are working through ways of making our work with power tools safer and healthier for our workers.
    Does anyone have any experience with anti-vibration gloves?
    We have other controls to do with job rotation, time on the saws, low vibration saws, holding tools loosely, training etc etc. but twe are wondering about using anti-vibration gloves as PPE. My googling seems to show that the people that say they make a difference are also the people who sell them.
    As we are in a very hot summer climate here I need to get worker buy-in for wearing more clothing and PPE so it would be great to get some outside feedback. Happy for PMs with specific recommendations.
  • Michelle Dykstra
    Hi Jane, I wear gel padded vibration resistent gloves when weed whacking on my lifestyle property. I find them comfortable. One thing to note is that PPE conformance claims cannot be made as I dont believe there is a standard. Regards, Michelle
  • Kelvin
    If you make contact With Steph Hembury. She has done papers and research in the UK and NZ
    If you cant find her details let me know. Cheers Kelvin.
  • Wayne Nicholl
    there was a recent case in the UK? I think where a company was prosecuted because vibration gloves was the only control they had in place. I think gloves need to be part of a wider group of controls
  • Marion Edwin
    Hi Jane, I don't believe the gloves will alter the actual vibration that workers are being exposed to from hand tool use, unlike your other controls that engineer out the risk, or control via time of exposure. But I say that without a specific review of current literature around that - there should probably be some detailed evaluations of HAV measures taken - external and internal to such gloves? Like you I would be suspicious of the manufacturers claims. However offering them as an option might be the way to go. Some people may find them beneficial and helpful, whereas others might not. They might be useful for those who are sensitive to the circulatory effects of vibration, for example. Gloves may offer some 'better grip' from a more 'sticky' grasp surface, which can also be helpful as it may reduce the grasp forces required, but gloves can also have inherent additional grasp force if they are not a great fit or design. So gloves may have multiple plus/minus aspects. Another plus is that they might be better in cold weather as they help to keep the hands warm, and therefore aid better circulation and therefore ease of grasp. In summer they might get sweaty and slippery on the inside and do more harm than good. In practice many people will have an inherent feel for whether they help or hinder, so it might be a great opportunity to offer workers some latitude with deciding how they will do the task/what gear to use.
  • Kerry Cheung
    Hi Jane,

    Anti-vibration gloves are a mixed bag. They may provide little protection, but at the same time they may increase risks as well.

    The type of system represented by a hand and the resilient pad built into a glove has a natural frequency higher than those mainly implicated in HAV syndrome (HAVS). In some cases, a small reduction in vibration amplitude is achieved, while in others the vibration exposure of the hand may actually increase.

    The structure of most antivibration gloves normally makes it much more difficult to grip and control tools and work than would be the case if they were not worn. This may merely be an inconvenience, but it may also force the user to grip the tool more tightly, once again probably increasing the risk of HAVS.

    As a result of the above factors, antivibration gloves are not normally recommended as part of a programme of measures to reduce HAV risks. They may keep the hands warm and this can help to protect against vibration damage. However, any glove will do this, and it would be more beneficial to choose a type that allows good control of the tool without an excessively tight grip. In any case, the antivibration types are considerably more expensive than most other gloves.
  • Gary Clarkson
    In my experience an expensive waste of time.
    The use of gloves to keep hands warm will certainly help blood flow in colder conditions which can marginally help, but the only way to manage HAVS is through measuring, monitoring and ensuring exposure times are not exceeded.
  • MattD2
    only way to manage HAVS is through measuring, monitoring and ensuring exposure times are not exceeded.Gary Clarkson

    Or firstly trying to eliminate or isolate the source of the vibration in the first place - balance shafts, dampers, tighter tolerances (which are one of the reason certain brands cost more), electric vs 2-stroke powered, etc.
  • Gary Clarkson
    well yeah, the OP stated that they had implemented these and was asking about gloves !
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