Did you know that in 2019, there were 8,110 cases of cuts and lacerations in full-service restaurants that resulted in days away from work? There’s no doubt that there are risks in commercial kitchens when the proper precautions are not followed.
One of the most effective ways you can keep your restaurant staff safe from cuts and lacerations is by providing cut-resistant gloves. Here we’ll go over some of the different types of cut-resistant gloves, their differences, and what you’ll need to make informed decisions for your workplace.
What Makes a Glove “Cut-Resistant”?
The phrase “cut-resistant” refers to the type, thickness, and weight of the materials used. As you may expect, the heavier the material, the more your hands are protected. However, you also have to factor in comfort and mobility. Kitchen and restaurant workers in particular require a higher level of dexterity when making precise cuts. So, for instance, while metal mesh gloves do exist and they do offer the highest levels of protection, they may not be as appropriate for all kitchen tasks.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established a standard (ANSI/ISEA 105-2016) that rates cut-resistant gloves and materials on a scale of A1-A9. These rating levels indicate a glove’s capability to resist cuts and punctures. A1 is the lowest level of protection and A9 is the highest level of protection. Typically, a rating of A4 or higher is needed for most food preparation tasks. Remember, every operation and task is different and it’s important that you properly assess the hazards of your tasks, so you can properly select the right level of protection. Work with your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplier to help determine which type of glove your employees can use to provide them with the protection ratings that they may need.
Spectra Fiber Gloves
Spectra fiber gloves provide another great option for kitchen staff to protect themselves against cuts and lacerations. An added benefit of spectra gloves is that they are often lightweight and flexible, making them ideal for the food service industry. One major application of Spectra gloves is that they are moisture-resistant so they’re great for working on kitchen projects involving high levels of moisture. Spectra gloves are generally known to have a rating of A4-A5 on the ANSI scale.
Dyneema Fiber Gloves
Dyneema fiber gloves are another option that provides top-level protection against cuts and lacerations for kitchen staff. These extremely durable gloves are resistant to UV light and harsh chemicals while providing additional protection against extreme temperatures. Dyneema gloves are made from extremely strong polyethylene fibers and are generally known to have a rating of A4-A5 on the ANSI scale.
Metal Mesh Gloves
Metal mesh gloves may look like they have been around since the medieval era, but should not be overlooked! Composed of 100% metal mesh, these gloves provide the best protection possible against punctures AND slices. Metal mesh gloves are more likely to be found in environments using extremely sharp tools such as the meat processing or butcher industries. Metal mesh gloves also typically have a longer lifespan and offer more durability than other fiber-based gloves. They can provide one of the highest levels of protection and are generally known to have a rating between A5-A9, depending on the manufacturer.
Keep Your Restaurant Staff Safe with Society Insurance
Society Insurance is dedicated to providing industry-leading restaurant and bar insurance. Your business is your livelihood, and having a vested interest in protecting your staff from injury benefits all involved. At Society, we strive to do all we can to help you protect your staff and business. Talk to your local Society Insurance agent to discuss your insurance coverage options.