If your occupation involves you to work at height, choosing the right personal protective gear is the top priority to avoid workplace injuries. A key element of personal protective gear is your work gloves. Working at height will require you to use rappel gloves that offer superior grip, abrasion resistance, strength and flexibility.
Choosing the right gloves for work at height
Here are some tips to choose the right rappel gloves for work at height
Typically, safety gloves are made with leather, fabric or rubber. Fabric gloves offer protection from dirt, chafing and slivers but will not be suitable when you need protection against rough or sharp materials. Rubber gloves are designed for working with electrical equipment or chemicals. For rappelling and belaying work, leather gloves are best suited. Gloves made of cowhide and/or goatskin are sturdy and provide protection against heat, cuts and burns as well as blows, chips, sparks and rough objects.
Dexterity and flexibility
Lightweight leather gloves are designed for fall protection, rope rescue, tower work and wilderness rescue. These also offer finger dexterity and hand protection you need for belaying, knot tying and rigging work.
Comfort and fit
Rappel and belay gloves come in different sizes of small, medium, extra small, large, extra-large and XX large. One way to get a good fit is to measure your hand width (measure the width of your dominant hand using a tape). If the rappel gloves have numbered sizes, the measurement can be directly related to the glove’s listed size.
Replace worn out gloves
Inspect the rappel gloves before each use to make sure they are not punctured, torn or damaged in any way. Apart from a visual inspection, test the gloves by filling them with water and then tightly roll the cuff towards fingers. This will help you detect pinhole leaks. Stiff or discolored gloves also indicate degradation from chemicals or excessive use. If your rappel gloves show these signs of damage, immediately discard them and replace with high-quality rappel gloves.