Anyone who has ever spent time in the kitchen has undoubtedly experienced the pain involved after touching a hot surface or grabbing a hot handle without wearing some type of heat-resistant oven glove. And using the convenient kitchen towel nearby is not always sufficient to keep from burning your skin.
9470K, one of our Top 10 Oven Gloves sold each year
Heat-resistant oven gloves are especially essential to professional cooks and food industry workers because of the increased number of burn opportunities they encounter while removing hot items from ovens, handling hot plates, or dealing with intensely hot surfaces.
Below is a guide to the kinds of burn hazards professionals face and how the right oven glove can keep them from having to seek medical care for these hazards.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 14,550 thermal burn injuries received on the job in 2018. Of these, 6,600 took place in the food services industry.
A thermal burn can be caused by heat from liquids, open flames, hot objects such as stoves, and explosions. Kitchen workers are especially vulnerable to thermal injuries because of how much they are exposed to hot liquids and hot objects during a typical shift.
Thermal burn injuries are especially common in teen employees who work in the restaurant industry. A teenager's inexperience in a kitchen, combined with the need to keep up during busy periods, can lead to injuries from thermal burns.
Additional Thermal Burn Educational Resources:
OSHA Thermal Burns
NCBI Thermal Burns
Heat-Resistant Gloves Explained
The quality of any product defined as heat resistant means that it is not quickly burned or melted. For gloves that protect against thermal burns, the best way to determine its heat resistant performance is by utilizing the ASTM F1060-08 test method.
As we highlight in our ITC Heat Testing blog, conductive heat ratings measure the highest contact temperature for which the time to second-degree burn is at least 15 seconds, and the alarm time is at least four seconds. It is the maximum temperature at which you have at least 15 seconds before you are injured by the heat and at least four seconds of warning during which you can move away from the heat source and save your skin from burns. Again, the more time you have to react, the better your chances of not getting burned.
ASTM F1060-08 is the test method used in obtaining the following levels of heat protection:
- Level 1: 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit
- Level 2: 140 degrees Celsius or 284 degrees Fahrenheit
- Level 3: 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit
- Level 4: 260 degrees Celsius or 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Level 5: 320 degrees Celsius or 608 degrees Fahrenheit
Click on any link above to find gloves tested to the level shown. In this blog, we will also highlight some of the top-selling heat-resistant gloves before you determine which gloves will work best. Keep in mind; there are other factors to consider when assessing heat-resistant gloves, such as the weight of the object being handled and handling time.
Who Needs Heat Protection?
There are many occupations where thermal burns pose a significant occupational hazard, not just in the food industry. The top five professions at risk for thermal burns are:
- Cooks (2,930 total injuries)
- Food preparation workers (1,190 total injuries)
- Installation, maintenance, and repair workers (950 total injuries)
- Construction and extraction occupations (860 total injuries)
- Metalworkers and plastic workers (750 total injuries)
Cooks rank #1 for thermal burn injuries.
While other occupations are affected by this hazard, those in the food industry are especially vulnerable because they are regularly exposed to hot ovens, boiling water, and splattered oil, thus increasing their chances of getting a severe thermal burn.
What Are Oven Gloves?
Oven gloves are the most useful pieces of personal protective equipment—or PPE—available to help kitchen workers avoid thermal burns. These are vital pieces of PPE because OSHA estimates that hand injuries due to burns cost the food industry an estimated $300 million a year due to lost work time and workers' compensation.
While it may be convenient to grab the nearest towel when removing something from the oven, this practice can lead to more injuries due to the instability of how you grab a hot tray with a towel in your hand. Similarly, an oven mitt, which we do stock, covers the hand but only has one slot for all fingers, creating additional bulkiness and making it difficult to grab the hot object adequately. Oven gloves are like regular gloves in that they have separate areas for each finger and tend to be less bulky than a mitt, which is the solution to this issue.
9460K is made with heavy terrycloth, and 9470K is made with DuPont™ Kevlar®.
Professionals prefer heat-resistant gloves made with gripping dots. This is because they provide a superior grip for grasping hot objects and allow professionals to continue their other work duties in the kitchen without continually having to put on and take off a mitt. Additional time spent finding proper PPE can be wasteful in an industry that is about speed and order accuracy. Kitchen workers work hard to keep customers happy by not making them wait too long for their food.
Remember: providing food workers with the proper equipment and adequate training on properly using that equipment helps lower the risk of injury and injury costs.
Best Oven Gloves and Oven Mitts
When it comes to heat-resistant PPE, MCR Safety has an incredible selection of gloves to help anyone avoid potentially dangerous burns. Remember, what sets oven gloves apart from the handy towel or the oven mitt is the design. With fingers, oven gloves can help workers get a better, more stable grip on hot surfaces.
Our selection includes:
- Level 5 Heat-Resistant Gloves - These oven gloves boast an extra-heavyweight design and provide the highest achievable ANSI rated heat score.
- Level 5 Heat-Resistant Gloves With Dots - These oven gloves are made with heavy loop-in terry cloth and have nitrile "dots" on both sides for extra heat protection and grip.
- Level 5 Heat With Cut Resistance - These oven gloves protect wearers from hot surfaces in the kitchen, while also protecting your hands from another common hazard—cuts caused by working with sharp knives or kitchen tools.
- Level 5 Heat-Resistant Mitts - Our best oven mitt provides superior protection with its 32-ounces of padding.
Top Overall Sellers
1. 9435KMS, Kevlar® Cotton Blend – Level 4 Heat
2. 9400KM, Cotton Polyester Blend – Level 4 Heat
3. 9460K, Terrycloth – Level 5 Heat
4. 9124, Cotton – Level 4 Heat
5. 9132, Cotton – Level 5 Heat
6.9470K, Kevlar® – Level 5 Heat
7. 9018, Cotton – Level 5 Heat
8. 9432GFR, Cotton – Level 5 Heat
9. 9128, Cotton, – Level 5 Heat
10. 6944, Liquid-Resistant Neoprene – Level 5 Heat
Heat-resistant sleeves are also crucial for protecting arms against burns. Consider the 9475M, Level 4 heat resistance sleeve as an option, along with the 9432SFR.
9400KM glove and 9475M sleeve
Finally, for those who want ultimate hand-movement and dexterity in addition to heat resistance, our featherweight N96970 provides level 2 heat resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get heat-resistant oven gloves in a small size?
- Our 9462K is sized small and provides level 5 heat resistance.
If you're interested, let us know by requesting a quote, and we will put you in touch with a local distributor in your area.
How do you wash oven gloves?
- Everything you need to know about cleaning gloves, regardless of material, can be found in our Cleaning PPE blog.
Can you wash oven mitts?
- Yes, just consider washing them separately from other items, as they are often dirtier and heavily soiled with grease. Keep in mind; not all materials should be washed the same, as Kevlar® cannot be washed with bleach, for example. For more information about laundering your gloves, visit our Cleaning PPE blog.
What fabric is used for oven gloves?
- A variety of fabrics can be used to make oven gloves. The products we have shown are made with Cotton, Kevlar®, and neoprene.
Which small oven gloves are best for turning a turkey?
- Neoprene-coated gloves, like our 6944, are excellent for hot turkeys. They are waterproof and provide ANSI level 5 heat-resistance.
Protecting Workers from Hot Objects
Whether made of heavyweight material, DuPont™ Kevlar®, neoprene, or any other heat-resistant material, remember that the primary function of an oven glove is to protect wearers from thermal burns. With the right equipment and training, incidents of thermal injuries can be greatly reduced in work environments where this is a common hazard.
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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 to provide 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.