IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Characterization of the biomechanical constraints caused by the use of protective gloves. Phase II: Validation of a method for measuring the flexibility of gloves based on surface electromyography


Protective gloves help reduce the number and severity of hand injuries, but they often hinder task execution and require increased muscular effort, which explains the reticence of workers to wear them.

An initial biomechanical test was developed in a previous study (R-372) and the results obtained demonstrated some potential for characterizing glove flexibility. However, modifications were required in order to refine the method. A more exhaustive evaluation, including additional gloves, would also be necessary to assess the enhanced sensitivity of this potential tool.

A mechanical method, the free deforming multidirectional double curvature test, was also developed in the context of this study, and the results obtained for 28 gloves with a wide range of flexibilities were compared, among other things, to the measurements carried out with the improved biomechanical test, and to a psychophysical evaluation.

The results show that it is possible to predict the effects of a rigid glove on muscle function based on the new mechanical double curvature test. This is the first test to validate mechanical tests for protective glove flexibility using criteria obtained with human subjects. In addition to providing essentially the same information as tests carried out on human subjects, the mechanical double curvature test is much simpler, requires fewer resources, is less costly, is less subject to variation, and is more sensitive to subtle differences in flexibility.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-3760
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2007
  • Toan Vu-Khanh (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Jaime Lara (IRSST)
  • Christian Larivière (IRSST)
  • Sylvie Nadeau (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Said Jazouli (École de technologie supérieure)