A person's hands allow them to manipulate the world around them and create virtually anything. Think of it this way: hands helped build The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Eiffel Tower, and modern skyscrapers like the Empire State Building. So, it only makes sense that something this valuable should be protected!
A worker's hands are one of their greatest assets, worthy of the best protection money can buy. No other living creature has hands that can grip, hold, turn, and manipulate objects as human hands can. Even one of America's premier universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), mentions hands in their school motto. Applying one's hands to make things is at the heart of 'Mens et Manus', which means "mind and hand". However, the gift of making things comes with safety hazards. Hands are fragile and vulnerable to injuries, which makes hand protection extremely important.
Big Jake® gloves have been protecting construction and utility workers since the '70s.
Having the ability to manipulate objects and make things is especially important if you work in the construction or utility industry. Workers in both these industries must handle a variety of materials in some challenging environments to build a home or raise the wooden poles that carry electricity to light those homes. In these industries, hands are exposed to work conditions and hazards that can cause serious injury.
Of the 77,490 construction injuries that occurred in 2018, 13,930 were injuries to the hand. That's nearly 18 percent of the total construction injuries in one year. The most vulnerable workers to sustain hand injuries are new hires, ages 16 to 24. However, regardless of age or experience, hand injuries occur frequently in the construction industry, and the most serious ones often require an average of at least five days off.
This article will take an in-depth look at the gloves we've developed at MCR Safety, specifically with these two industries in mind. Let's get those hands protected with the best gloves money can buy!
OSHA and Construction
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires construction workers to protect themselves while on the job with personal protective equipment (PPE) for their head, face, eyes, ears, feet, and hands, including gloves that fit snugly and are appropriate to wear for specific jobs. Some of the most common types of construction hand injuries include:
- Lacerations - deep cuts or tears in the flesh. Most lacerations are treatable; however, if the wound is deep, nerve or tendon damage can cause a more prolonged recovery time and long-term loss of strength to the hand.
- Crushes – it is not uncommon on a construction site for a hand, wrist, or arm to get caught between heavy equipment and another hard surface, like the floor or a wall. If the crush injury is severe or prevents blood supply to the muscles, it will cause permanent damage.
- Punctures - are a narrower, deep cut or scrape. Punctures occur when a sharp object like a nail, knife, machinery, or other tool pierces the skin.
Because construction workers face numerous hazards, OSHA puts a significant emphasis on the overall industry's safety. The construction industry is one of only two sectors that have regulations specific to it. OSHA 29 CFR 1926 focuses on safety topics specific to the construction industry, including hand tools, electrical, and personal protective equipment. The OSHA standards for construction and general industry are also known as 1910.
OSHA's 1910.132 highlights safety across all industries and applies to all worksites. It ensures workers are protected from hazards at no cost to employees. OSHA 1910.32 guarantees that personal protective equipment is "provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition whenever necessary" by the employer to the employee. Both standards ensure workers are protected with PPE. However, because of the unique hazards found in construction, safety managers and workers will default most time to OSHA 1926, which includes more stringent safety standards.
Additional OSHA Construction Resources
Mustang Work Gloves
For workers in the construction industry, we suggest the following glove types:
- Best cut-resistant gloves for construction – MCR Safety's leather gloves with a cut-resistant liner have taken off in recent years. Our latest MU3624 edition is designed for the rugged conditions found on construction sites. The top-grain goatskin leather of the MCR Safety Mustang MU3624G allows workers to feel what they're working with while holding up to abrasion better than split leather. These gloves stay soft and comfortable in sweaty-hand conditions and provide all-day protection. The second layers of leather in the palm, fingertips, thumb crotch, index finger, and knuckle provide additional protection without sacrificing dexterity. Our Mustang gloves are also double-stitched with DuPont® Kevlar™ thread on all stitch lines to offer longer wear life and to prevent seam blowout.
- Heavy-duty gloves for construction – You might be thinking that our last glove was not heavy-duty enough for your needs as there is no impact protection offered by it. Don't worry; we've covered that area, too. Made from premium goatskin leather, the MCR Safety Mustang MU3634K has a second layer of premium goatskin in the palm and fingertips and features shirred elastic around the wrist, a wing-style thumb, TPR protection on the back of the hand, fingers, and thumb. It is sewn with DuPont® Kevlar™ thread on all stitch lines for longer wear life and is DuPont® Kevlar™-lined for outstanding cut protection.
- Winter construction gloves - The MCR Safety Mustang Utility MU36211 is a premium goatskin leather glove that's fleece-lined for warmth. It has a waterproof bladder, a shirred elastic back, and the second layer of premium goatskin in the palm, fingertips, and knuckles to provide additional protection without sacrificing dexterity. This glove is sewn with DuPont® Kevlar™ thread on all stitch lines to offer longer wear life and to prevent seam blowout.
All three of the Mustang gloves mentioned above are designed for extreme wear and tear. However, there are many hazards faced across the construction industry, which means all types of protection are required. Our next section showcases where to go when you need additional construction gloves options.
MCR Safety Construction Page: Our Best Construction Gloves
As a construction worker, you face day-to-day safety hazards that can potentially cause personal injury, so you want PPE, you can count on for protection. That's why workers turn to MCR Safety for premier construction and utility gloves, as well as for guidance and recommendations through our in-depth, user-friendly guides. We mentioned how OSHA has created numerous resources for workers, and we don't want to miss out on the party!
In addition to the downloadable Construction and Concrete Glove Guide and the Construction Glove Application Guide, MCR Safety has prepared several in-depth resources for exploring the unique hazards that cause most hand injuries, complete with recommendations for hand protection to guard against these hazards. Some construction hazards to consider include:
- Crush and Impact - Construction sites have close-quarter environments that expose workers to blunt force trauma dangers.
- Extreme Temperature - For the coldest of winter conditions, construction workers should protect their hands by using insulated gloves made with the most advanced technologies that allow for protection without losing dexterity.
- Puncture – Numerous materials and objects can puncture through a glove on any construction site. Examples include working around jagged edges, job site cleanup, and handling sharp tools.
- Sharp Objects - Over 18 percent of all hand injuries are caused by cuts and lacerations. Construction workers come into constant contact with rough, sharp, and jagged surfaces. An astounding 76 percent of all hand injuries are the result of cut and crush.
- Wet Environment – Because 71 percent of the earth is water, waterproof gloves can keep hands safe and dry and prevent injuries that happen as a result of working in slippery conditions.
Two of the hazards above pertain to cut and puncture injuries. In 2018, there were a total of 10,180 cut, laceration, and puncture injuries in the construction industry. It is one reason why our Big Jake® gloves, shown in the above image, our lined with DuPont™ Kevlar®. If you find yourself working around anything sharp, it makes sense to wear a glove offering cut protection.
Utility Safety Gloves
Why do utility safety gloves fall into a similar category as construction? One of the biggest reasons is that construction activities are occurring all the time in the utility industry. We polled roughly 50 electrical linemen in 2018 about what applications on their job sites require high-quality gloves.
Here are the top five activities they identified:
- Framing poles
- Chainsaw work
- Setting poles
- Setting meters
- Substation work
As you read the top five answers, they all have one thing in common: construction-based activities. The employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) backs that up, noting that construction is a big part of the utility industry. 2019 occupational employment stats reveal that over 31,000 people in the utility industry were working in construction and extraction occupations.
Where there are utility workers, similar hazards as construction work apply, plus there are additional electrical hazards involved. Workers carry out many activities, from opening and closing switch breakers to repairing and servicing existing electrical systems to retrofitting and installing new systems. The work can be challenging, exposing workers to potentially dangerous materials and other hazards daily.
When cutting electrical components, tools can easily slip and injure hands or arms. Lacerations are among the most common hand injuries for utility workers, so we have added leather gloves that are lined with cut-resistant materials to our product line. In 2018, a total of 3,640 injuries occurred in the utility industry, and 630 were injuries to the hand—roughly 17 percent of the total utility injuries in one year.
Work Utility Gloves
What are utility gloves used for? In addition to cut-resistant gloves, we carry a vast offering of work utility gloves. We offer styles that provide warmth and others that offer impressive gripping. Here are some of our top-selling work utility gloves:
- Firm-grip utility gloves - The 96790HVI premium utility glove offers tactile sensitivity, dexterity, abrasion resistance, and grip protection. It has a 15-gauge gray nylon shell with high-visibility orange BNF (breathable nitrile foam) and NFT coating on the palm and fingers.
- Tactical utility gloves - The MCR Safety 962 "TaskFit" utility glove offers safety, comfort, and style. Shown in the image above, these gloves feature a super-stretch knuckle material, allowing for excellent hand movement. Most importantly, the unique steel cable/rope channel palm is reinforced with rough DuPont® Kevlar™. This type of grip is ideal for working with cables and ropes, which is often the case for utility workers.
- Thermal waterproof utility gloves - The MU36211 mentioned above features a fleece lining for warmth and is equipped with an impermeable bladder. This dual combination is perfect for when temperatures begin dropping outside.
- Nitrile utility gloves - The UltraTech UT1956 is a coated knit glove featuring a sandy nitrile foam-coated palm, which provides wearers with additional gripping power.
- Cowhide utility gloves - The top grain leather of the MCR Safety Mustang MU3213DP utility field glove allows you to feel what you're holding. Plus, the double split leather cowhide offers utility workers a glove that keeps up under rugged conditions.
Be sure to check out our full online glove catalog, as there are numerous other glove styles we stock within each category that we don't have room to mention here.
MCR Safety utilizes Nomex® fabric in several of our comfortable, lightweight utility gloves to deliver outstanding heat- and flame-resistant performance, giving workers extra seconds of protection to escape intense heat and flames.
Nomex® is a breathable fabric that makes it an excellent material for joining onto the back of gloves. Plus, with it being so lightweight, users gain increased comfort and dexterity when wearing Nomex®-backed gloves. The MCR Safety Mustang MU3624FR, shown above, has an arc rating of 24.7 cal/cm2 and a heat attenuation factor (HAF) of 91.3 percent. A gauntlet version with a more extended cuff is also available.
WARNING: MCR Safety's arc-rated gloves do NOT protect against shock or voltage.
What kind of gloves should construction workers use?
- The most important thing is to wear gloves that match the hazards faced. It doesn't make much sense to continue wearing a nylon shell glove if you're picking up sharp metal. Instead, a pair of cut-resistant gloves makes the most sense.
Where can I buy construction gloves?
- MCR Safety sells its products through a wide selection of worldwide distributors. When you request a glove, we have a local distributor in your area supply the product.
When should utility gloves be worn?
- General-purpose work utility gloves are worn when live electricity isn't a concern. Whenever live voltage is present, utility workers need to be wearing their thick electrical rubber gloves. MCR Safety does not sell electrical rubber gloves at this time.
What are utility gloves?
- Utility gloves have a different meaning for each wearer. Some think of them as electrical gloves, whereas others consider them all-purpose gloves. Whenever you see one of our Mustang Utility gloves, just know it's the highest-level quality leather glove in our lineup.
Are utility gloves warm?
- When they are lined with insulation and a waterproof bladder like our MUG36211, the answer is an absolute yes.
Construction and Utility Protection
Whether you work in construction or work to make sure our electricity is flowing correctly, we know you need your hands protected from cuts, punctures, tears, abrasions, heat, and cold using the safest gear. That is why MCR Safety uses the latest technologies to protect you from workplace hazards. Don't forget, we carry an entire lineup of PPE, like our FR shirt shown in the image above, which features triple vents for ultimate comfort. If your needs take you into other product lines and you need some assistance selecting the best options, we would love to hear from you.
Click the image above to leave us comments, questions, or any concerns.
For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.