Visibility is an important factor in the mitigation of workplace hazards and the prevention of accidents and injuries. Whether you work with heavy machinery, in low-light conditions, or in an environment with chemicals, grease, or mud, being able to clearly see your hands is a necessity.
High-visibility (or “hi-vis”) gloves are a vital component of personal protective equipment (PPE) and workplace safety across a variety of industries, including search & rescue, oil & gas, road construction, meat packing, and many others. Keep reading to find out when high-visibility gloves are necessary and how to choose the right pair for your workplace conditions and safety needs.
Glove Colors & What They Mean
Whatever color they are, work gloves should always be tough, flexible, and built to last. Regular all-purpose work gloves can be any color, but they tend to come in neutral colors like black, brown, or beige. In certain industries, however, the color of your work gloves is extremely important for identification, visibility, and safety. Here are a few of the most common colors of work gloves and what they mean:
- Black, gray, or brown: dark, neutral gloves are often used in the automotive industry and other workplaces that involve dirt and grime.
- White: generally, white is an indication of a single-use glove, often used in laboratories, by medical professionals and first responders, and in other environments where contaminants — like blood or chemical compounds — need to be visible.
- Blue: depending on the shade, blue gloves may be used in hospitals, dental offices, and medical facilities (blue gloves in a hospital are generally made of nitrile, rather than white latex). Purple gloves are also becoming more common in medicine and the life sciences.
- Hi-vis orange, green, or yellow: gloves in the traditional neon and fluorescent colors are designed to be seen from a distance and are used in a variety of industries that require additional visibility and safety measures. Contrasting hi-vis colors may be used in the same environment to prevent cross-contamination of materials, enforce proper handling techniques, or distinguish between job duties.
There are lots of benefits to using hi-vis gloves. In addition to other regulations involving hand-protection in the workplace, glove color is an essential component of PPE requirements across industries. In addition to the importance of complying with regulatory standards, using hi-vis PPE — including high-visibility or reflective gloves — can help identify and distinguish between job duties, limit accidents and injuries, and maintain safety in hazardous conditions.
When You Need High-Visibility Gloves
There are lots of situations in which you and those around you need to be able to see you, and specifically your hands. High-visibility and safety gloves are frequently used in a range of industries to serve a variety of unique purposes.
Here are 5 examples of scenarios when hi-vis gloves are absolutely necessary:
1. Fighting Fires
Firefighters need to be able to reliably see their own hands and those of other members of their crew through thick smoke. It’s also important that firefighters are easily visible to survivors and all members of the public in any number of indoor and outdoor conditions. For this reason, fire and rescue gloves are almost always designed to be hi-vis and reflective.
2. Low-Light Conditions
Whether you work in a mine, on a nighttime road crew, or on a fishing vessel, low-light conditions necessitate high-visibility gloves. You and the people you work with need to be able to clearly see your hands, especially if your work environment involves heavy machinery, sharp objects, or other hazards.
3. Traffic Direction & Road Construction
All road-construction workers need high-quality construction gloves. But if you work at night, it’s especially important that you have reliable hi-vis hand protection. From directing traffic to operating machinery, you need your hands to be visible to facilitate communication and limit the risk of accidents, especially in loud, low-light construction environments.
4. Search & Rescue
Whether you’re searching for a lost mountain hiker, pulling someone from flood waters, or extracting a person from a totaled vehicle after a wreck, your hands need to be easily visible in a variety of conditions. Search and rescue gloves need to not just be hi-vis and reflective, but they also need to stand up to the elements, bloodborne pathogens, extreme temperatures, and heavy equipment.
5. Greasy or Muddy Environments
The oil and gas industry and other work environments that involve oil, grease, or lots of mud and grime require high-visibility gloves, especially where heavy machinery is present. Particularly where oil and other dark and opaque substances are involved, it’s important that not just the backs of your gloves, but all surfaces are easily visible.
High-Performance, High-Visibility Work Gloves For Any Conditions
You don’t back down from a challenge, and your gloves should be just as tough. Cestus Armored Gloves are designed with safety and efficacy in mind and manufactured to stand up to harsh conditions and demanding environments. We have a dedicated range of high-visibility safety gloves, and you can also search our entire selection of gloves by color. You can also browse our collections by series, industry, or feature.
Don’t settle for less and don’t risk injury. If your work requires effective hi-vis gloves, Cestus has you covered. We’re always here to offer advice and answer any questions you have, so don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (503) 894-8549.