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

Effect of industrial contaminants on the cut and tear resistance of protective gloves. Phase 2.


In many work environments, such as metal machining, automobile mechanics and food processing, the mechanical hazards and those related to industrial contaminants, particularly oils and greases, are present at the same time. On the one hand, these oils and greases can reduce the gloves’ resistance to mechanical agents. On the other hand, some glove models are cleaned to extend their service life, which can change their properties.

An initial exploratory study analyzed three aspects relating to the effect of actual conditions of use of protective gloves on their resistance against mechanical agents (cutting, puncture and tearing): oil and grease exposure in the laboratory; the application of an industrial cleaning treatment; and normal use in the workplace until withdrawal. The results obtained showed changes in cut, puncture and tear resistance. For example, significant reductions in cut and puncture resistance were measured following certain contamination treatments in the laboratory. For worn nitrile gloves, up to 34% reductions in resistance were observed for the three types of mechanical agents. Finally, an increase in puncture resistance was measured after a single cleaning treatment on synthetic leather gloves.

These results show the importance of considering the presence of industrial contaminants when choosing protective gloves against mechanical agents. The people in charge of this study also established the need for continuing the work so that better knowledge can be acquired about the phenomena involved in the contamination, cleaning and natural wear processes, for the purpose of finding optimal solutions to these problems.

With the representatives of the sectors that collaborated in the first phase of the work, the scientists will this time extend their analysis to a representative set of materials and types of protective gloves and to the large families of industrial contaminants. By doing so, they will be able to characterize the effect of oils and greases used in the metal machining, automobile mechanics and food processing industries on the cut, puncture and tear resistance of an extensive list of protective gloves used in these environments and to identify the mechanisms involved. At the end of the work, the results will be integrated into the Protective Gloves Selection Guide:

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-9110
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2017
  • Toan Vu-Khanh (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Phuong Nguyen-Tri (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Ennouri Triki (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Meriam Azaiez (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Chantal Gauvin (IRSST)
  • Ludovic Tuduri (IRSST)