Choosing the Right Gloves for the Automotive Industry

Working in the automotive industry means using your hands almost constantly. But finding the right glove to protect your hands in each application can be difficult. Traditionally, automotive workers opted for latex gloves, but many have switched over to powder-free nitrile gloves instead. As for leather gloves, their low level of cut resistance makes them a bad choice for most automotive applications. Choosing the best glove for the job, though, depends on which area of the industry you’ll be working in.

Metal Stamping

If you’re working in a stamping plant, you’ll want a glove with high abrasion resistance to prevent it from becoming worn from reuse. Ideally, you’ll want to go with a 7-gauge glove that has a minimum of 2000 grams of cut resistance, ANSI level 4.



For assembly-related applications, gloves should generally be cut resistant and have a solid grip, especially if you’ll be working with oily metal or glass products. At the same time, you’ll need them to be sensitive enough that you can manipulate and feel the parts that you’re handling.

Most nitrile or polyurethane-coated gloves would be viable options, but one outstanding option for this application is the ActivGrip KEV. These gloves are finished with a suction cup coating that actually allows for a better grip. For applications that do not require high cut resistance, the ActivGrip Advance or the more economical 3716 Caliber glove will do the trick.


For painting applications, cut resistance is generally less important. The ideal glove in this case would protect against chemicals in the paint, while at the same time preventing dirt from your hands from contaminating the paint, leaving craters in the car’s surface.

Your best bet? Choose a paintline glove, which is designed to be lint-free. To cut down on sweat, you can wear knit liners underneath these or other nitrile gloves to wick away sweat and improve your comfort while wearing the gloves.


Manufacturing powertrain components and systems requires a glove that can stand up to abrasive conditions, so you’ll want to opt for a coated glove. Nitrile is best for oil-based compounds. If you’ll be working with water-based compounds, however, you’ll want to avoid nitrile gloves; choose latex-coated or PE-coated gloves.

When it comes to cut resistance, some safety directors require very high ANSI levels for employees working with powertrain systems, even in situations where a lower ANSI level may suffice. While ANSI 4 or 5 gloves have a very high level of resistance, they can also lead discomfort, hand fatigue, and a lack of dexterity, so it’s important to find the right balance for each application.

Whatever your position in the automotive industry, it’s important to make sure that your hands are protected – without limiting your ability to do your job well. Choosing the right glove for each application can go a long way towards ensuring safety and quality in your workplace.


Choosing the Right Gloves for the Foodservice Industry

Whether you’re running a high-class restaurant or organizing lunches in a school cafeteria, choosing the perfect gloves to outfit your staff shouldn’t be difficult. But with so many protective gloves out there, it’s easy to get confused about which ones work best for each foodservice application. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the perfect gloves for each job in the foodservice industry.

Cut Resistance

According to the US Department of Labor, slices, cuts, abrasions, and punctures make up close to 30% of employee lost time and productivity in the US. With about 80% of these accidents involving hand injuries, keeping your employees’ hands safe should be high priority. To do this, you’ll need to choose the right cut resistance for your employees’ protective gloves.

For employees who are assembling sandwiches, the risk of cut or puncture is very low, so cut resistance shouldn’t factor into your decision. But when it comes to applications such as deboning meat, the puncture risk is quite high, and choosing protective gloves with a high level of cut resistance is essential.

The Comfort Factor

In theory, gloves that have a high level of cut resistance are the safest option for any foodservice application. In practice, however, you’ll want to choose a glove that offers the wearer enough comfort and mobility for the job. After all, workers who find their protective gloves to be uncomfortable or unwieldy may end up working barehanded out of frustration. This is called “overgloving.” Finding the perfect balance between comfort and mobility on one hand and cut resistance on the other hand is key to choosing the right glove in the foodservice industry.

Note that for gloves to be as comfortable as possible, they need to be sized correctly. Gloves that are too large can be hard to manipulate, whereas those that are too small can cause hand fatigue. Too-small gloves can also increase perspiration levels and tear easily.

Glove Materials

Now that we’ve tackled the comfort vs. cut resistance issue, it’s time to take a look at your basic choices for protective gloves in the food industry. In a nutshell, you’ll be choosing between polyethylene, vinyl, latex, and nitrile gloves.

Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene gloves are the most economical choice, and are perfect for light applications, especially in situations where gloves are changed frequently. They fit loosely, which means that they can be put on and off quickly and easily.

The downsides? PE gloves are made from thin plastic, which means that they can tear easily. They can also fall apart when exposed to heat, which means they’re not a good choice for many cooking-related applications. Instead, choose PE gloves for prepping salads or sandwiches, bagging baked goods, or garnishing plates.


Although vinyl gloves are more expensive than PE gloves, they can be used in a wide variety of applications, and are the most popular glove in the foodservice industry. They can be worn around heat sources and are perfect for most prepwork and cooking applications, including grilling meats, prepping pizzas, sautéing vegetables, and assembling tacos.

Natural Rubber Latex (NRL)

Latex has long been the golden standard of protective glove materials. It has the best sensitivity and dexterity, which is perfect for precision work like cake decorating or rolling sushi. Recently, however, the industry has been moving away from latex gloves due to latex allergies.


Nitrile gloves are one latex-free alternative for applications that require manual dexterity. They are better than vinyl gloves for applications that require dexterity and sensitivity, and are more durable than latex. They are also more cut resistant than vinyl or PE gloves, so if you’re looking for the perfect gloves for chopping meat or handling shellfish, go with nitrile.

A Few Other Details…

Besides the material the glove is made from, you may need to consider a few other factors before making your final choice.

  • Gloves with a grip can help with jobs dealing with foods that are wet, smooth, or slippery.
  • In some applications, you may want to consider using two different gloves for each of a worker's hands. Knife work often puts the "offhand," or less dominant hand, at greater risk for cuts. Using a glove that is more cut resistant for the offhand can lower that risk.
  • For applications involving very high or lower temperatures, insulated gloves can be worn under cut-resistant gloves. Alternatively, cut resistant gloves can be insulated in order to protect from heat, cold, and moisture, as well as cuts.

So overall, there’s no perfect glove for the foodservice industry. Instead, it’s a matter of finding the perfect glove for each application by walking the tightrope between overgloving and undergloving. In other words, choose the type of material that gives you just enough cut resistance for each application without overly compromising on your employee’s comfort.

Can Disposable Gloves Go Green?


Hundreds of industries have joined in the struggle to “go green” by lowering their carbon footprint, using recycled materials, or reducing the amount of waste they produce. But can the disposable glove industry dream of joining them? Even though many green strategies can’t be used – the vast majority of nitrile gloves are definitely not recyclable and rarely reusable – glove manufacturers are still making great strides. Here’s how.

Focus 1: The Gloves

Millions of disposable gloves will end up in landfills each year. Initially, there might seem to be no way to temper the environmental damage that this can wreak.

However, it’s important to know that latex gloves, at least, are made from natural rubber, which is a renewable resource that can be extracted from living trees. Other gloves can be partially made from ground-up tires.

Nitrile gloves, on the other hand are more difficult to “green.” Yet even here, innovation has come through; recently, one glove manufacturer engineered a biodegradable disposable nitrile glove that breaks down only when placed in a landfill. Since nitrile has always been viewed as innately non-biodegradable, this is a breakthrough in environmentally sound glove production,.

Focus 2: The Manufacturing Process

Interestingly, the process of manufacturing disposable gloves has seen numerous opportunities for environmentally responsible changes. Some glove manufacturers have modified their existing machinery to ensure that they consume less fuel. Some use electricity supplied from renewable resources, such as solar or wind energy, and some have even begun to use biomass boilers that burn nut shells or other waste products to power their machinery. They can also try to make the most efficient use of the energy produced by recycling any hot air that escapes, reintroducing it to the manufacturing process by using heat exchange units.

In addition, some glove manufacturers opt for minimizing the use of chemicals that are environmentally harmful. They replace these with chemistry systems that have less of an impact on the environment, as well as less toxicity to humans and animals.

Focus 3: The Waste Products

Although disposable gloves themselves are meant to be thrown away, there is also the material used to hold the gloves. Some companies are “going green” when it comes to packaging methods. Glove manufacturers can focus on manufacturing all glove boxes out of recycled materials, as well as keeping them as compact as possible to minimize waste.

Water pollution can also be a byproduct of the production process. Glove manufacturers can clean the wastewater exiting their facilities, ensuring that it returns to the environment even cleaner than it was before.

Focus 4: The Distribution Process

Even the process of distributing disposable gloves can be made more environmentally conscious through shifting production to local facilities rather than shipping the gloves long distances. This reduces transportation-related pollution. Distributors can also make maximize the space in each shipment, which reduces the number of containers used in the shipping process.

While different manufacturing companies are approaching this issue in different ways, the industry as a whole has made great strides in meeting the challenge of becoming more environmentally responsible. Future developments in manufacturing technology will go a long way towards providing other methods for environmentally conscious glove manufacturers to “go green” in a meaningful way.

If You Thought Americans Were Clean, Read This

"Can you believe that Americans trek germs into their houses on the bottoms of their shoes? Do they enjoy spreading germs from outside all over their floors?"

 We Americans believe ourselves lucky to live in such a hygienic country. But people from other cultures may not agree, pointing to some of our surprisingly unhygienic practices. Here’s a roundup of a few of the “disgusting habits” that can shock people from other cultures when they see Americans practicing them.



 Would you believe that in some countries they use the same room for bodily waste as they do for washing hands and brushing teeth? Oh, wait, that’s true for most Western countries. But a home in Japan may have up to three separate rooms to house the amenities that we generally have all in one bathroom: one room for the bathtub, one for the toilet, and one for the sink. A great way to keep all the germs away from the clean areas, isn’t it?

 Some Japanese would also flinch at the fact that we wear shoes into the bathroom and then out into the rest of the house. Who knows how many bathroom germs we’re tracking all over the floor! In some traditional locations in Japan, you must change from regular slippers into special "bathroom slippers" before entering the restroom.


Washing Up

 Even some practices that seem non-hygenic can lead to people staying cleaner in the long run. For example, many Asian cultures did not accept the practice of applying perfumes or deodorants until relatively recently. Because of this, they would control body odor by bathing more than once a day.

 And then there are those who may have been cleaner for generations because of religious rites. For example, Sikhs have always believed in the importance of washing their hands well before touching an open wound, even long before doctors in other countries were washing their hands before surgery. Practicing Muslims perform ablutions before praying, and practicing Jews wash their hands before eating bread or after touching an area that is generally clothed. In some West African countries, people are required to wash their hands before raising food or drink to their lips. They also have the custom to place a bowl of leaf-infused water outside so that visitors can cleanse their hands and faces before entering the home.

Spreading Germs

 If you were looking for an easy way to spread germs between people, you’d probably opt to shake the hand of every person you’d meet. Surprisingly, that’s what happens in most business (or personal) relationships in America. In other cultures, people bow, potentially cutting down on the spread of germs. Unless you’re wearing protective gloves, shaking hands exposes your business partners to your germs, and vice-versa.

 Even when Americans know that they are sick, they sneeze into their hands – or, at best, into their elbows. In Japan, even if you only have a cold, you would wear a protective face mask to prevent the spread of germs. Which makes more sense?

 In India and other Asian countries, they actually differentiate between the roles of each hand, which may help to cut down on the spread of germs as well. Eating and touching others is done only with the right hand, whereas putting on your shoes, touching your feet, and cleansing oneself after the bathroom are all done with the left hand.

It’s All What You’re Used To

 In the end, habits are powerful things. We tend to do what our parents did, and our children tend to do what we do. Changing hygiene habits is hard, and sometimes it’s simply socially unacceptable… you try wearing a face mask in public the next time you have a cold!

 No matter what culture you’re from, healthy hand washing habits are essential for removing the germs that we inevitably come into contact with. And of course, if you’re touching other people’s food or bodies for a living, you should be wearing protective apparel to shield them and you from danger. Stay safe! 

My Dad's Strong Hands

My father, Bob Brown

My dad had the strongest hands.

When my brother and I were kids, Dad used to keep us entertained by ripping the Cincinnati White Pages in two with his bare hands.

Testosterone used to run wild in our house. With two boys and a fun-loving dad squeezed under one roof, my mother was definitely outnumbered. We’d roughhouse together, us boys racing through my dad’s fingers and slipping away by the skin of our teeth. We knew that if he caught us in those iron hands, it was all over.

Even when I grew older and moved away to college, I knew that his hands were as strong as ever. Once, when I arrived home, I greeted him by lifting him up and putting him on my shoulders like a sack of potatoes. I felt so strong, so powerful. But no matter how strong I became, I could never compete with the strength of his hands.

I knew that those hands had wrested something from nothing, ever since childhood. His father died when he was young, so he and his family never had two nickels to rub together. Nevertheless, he was driven to make something of himself. It took him eight years to get an undergrad degree because he had to juggle schoolwork with a job. But when World War II hit, my Dad joined the Air Force as a navigator.

Through his own sweat, he eventually climbed the ladder to become president of the largest Savings & Loan in Wisconsin, worth over a billion dollars at that time. This was a tremendous accomplishment. He was on the board of 28 different firms, and incredibly involved in the community.

I wish that his strong hands had held on until my daughter was born so he could have met her. He passed away at age 67 from a heart attack, just a few months before she was born.

But those hands gave me the chance to start my professional life anew. I had been working in the financial services field for many years, and was doing well, but the travel was constant. Then one year my mom couldn’t make it to a shareholder’s meeting for one of the companies on which my dad had been a board member. Always the dutiful son, I sat in for her.

At the meeting, a shareholder mentioned that the company had a subsidiary in Michigan that sold sterilization monitors. He asked the CEO what he planned to do with it, and the CEO said that if he found the right buyer, he would sell the subsidiary.  I called the CEO that evening and offered to buy it. After some due diligence, the deal was completed, and I was the owner of a 100-year old company selling sterilization monitors.  All of the sudden, I was spending my nights and weekends marketing the product as a long-distance, absentee owner. Between managing the new company and working at my day job, I was busier than ever.

Then something tragic occurred that caused me to reconsider my priorities. My daughter passed away unexpectedly, which was a blow to me and to my entire family.

I felt ready to make some changes in my professional life. On the one-year anniversary of my daughter’s death, I turned in a letter of resignation to my financial services job and started managing the company fulltime.

Around the same time, someone who worked for a glove manufacturer called me and gave me the advice of a lifetime: I had all these connections to labs at colleges and universities, so why not sell them protective gloves as well?

And so, Gloves By Web began.

My father’s strong hands had finally come full circle. It takes 35 muscles to move the fingers and thumb, and my father had full control of all of them. My Dad had the strongest hands, and I grew up – and still am – in awe of just how strong they were. But strong hands are not necessarily safe hands. Workers in all sorts of industries – from medical research to manufacturing – need protective gloves to keep their hands safe. I am glad to be part of Gloves By Web, a company that distributes high-quality protective gloves to make sure that strong hands are safe hands.