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ANTI-VIBRATION GLOVES RESEARCH PUBLISHED

Gloves ‘cannot be relied upon’ to reduce an operator exposure

Previous studies of anti-vibration gloves have typically only considered the effect that a glove might have in the direction of compression of the glove material.

HSE  has now published the report on a project commissioned to investigate the performance of an anti-vibration glove taking account of the influence that the glove might have in three axes.

The aim of the investigation was to examine assertions that gloves provide useful attenuation of the vibration generated by hand-held power tool products.

Report conclusions

The report concludes:

  • any test to assess the performance of an anti-vibration glove should take account of the likely properties of the glove in three axes. It is necessary to consider the properties and performance of a glove in shear as well as in compression modes.
  • use of an adaptor in the palm of the hand to measure transmissibility of a glove (the technique applied in BS EN ISO 10819:1997) can heavily influence the results. The glove may provide between a 30% reduction and 3% amplification of the total value.
  • the glove was shown to provide good reduction in vibration transmission in all axes at frequencies above 400Hz.
  • the attempts to make triaxial measurements of the performance of anti-vibration gloves on the handles of real machines showed that it was not possible to make a satisfactory reference measurement, i.e. to get agreement between simultaneous measurements on the handle and at the palm of the bare-hand.
  • any data obtained by using an adaptor for triaxial evaluation of gloves on real machines should be regarded with great caution.

Finally, the report states:

“The vibration reducing potential of the gloves tested is small and uncertain and includes the potential for amplification. Gloves cannot be relied upon to reduce an operator’s exposure to vibration, even when the vibration characteristics of the tool are known.”

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