According to Cherilyn Nelson, Vice President, Science and Technology, Ansell, a focus on usage trends for worker protection needs are helping to guide glove manufacturers in their research and development efforts.
"As customers become more sophisticated in their expectations, manufacturers of leading glove brands are placing greater emphasis on product differentiation. Hand protection products must also meet customer requirements at every level to provide the protection, comfort and dexterity that helps promote worker safety and productivity,"said Ms Nelson.
"Many product innovations and processes originate from customer-specific requests; therefore leading glove manufacturers rely on customer input to guide product development and manufacturing decisions."
"In recent times, glove manufacturers have developed closer working relationships with customers to provide products that meet their specific needs. These manufacturers are also focusing on improvisation and experimentation, with greater emphasis on identifying a variety of materials that offer solutions to specific design challenges," Ms Nelson continued.
"Customers want hand protection products that look good, feel good and provide high levels of performance. They want to provide workers with gloves, for example, that are thinner, more comfortable and provide the same protective qualities-such as cut and chemical protection-that workers have come to enjoy."
"Today, gloves must be able to perform in more diverse and demanding environments. They may prevent odour, incorporate antimicrobial properties, repel insects or offer fire, ultraviolet, impact or puncture resistance.
In most developed countries, including Australia, we are experiencing a tremendous influx of cheap imitations that look similar to high quality gloves, but often fall short in their ability perform or protect workers from injury," said Ms Nelson.