Have you watched the newest part of “The Kingsman”, a British-American movie about a secret service organization in England? If so, you might remember that in the beginning of the film, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table were mentioned, which reminds me of the image of them wearing chain mail gloves and garments.
You might not have known but it was then, in the Middle Age, that the metal mesh gloves were first introduced to protect knights from the fatal puncture of lances and swords in war. 1500 years later, there have been continuous developments of metal mesh gloves, but generally, they are still woven together by thousands of metal rings.
Different from sheer mesh gloves, people use metal mesh gloves for cutting in various industries that involve cutting, puncturing, and sliding.
In this article, I’ll discuss the multiple purposes that people use metal mesh gloves to protect against sharp tools:
- The Different Uses of Metal Mesh Gloves: In general, workers use these metal gloves for cutting in sheet metal work, food processing, and textile cutting.
- OSHA Regulations for Mesh Gloves: In addition to mesh gloves, workers should be provided with other protection pieces when dealing with extremely sharp tools.
- Cleaning Your Mesh Gloves: It is a must that your mesh gloves are clean before starting your task, especially in the food industry. All you need is some soap, hot water, a brush, and some non-acid disinfectant.
- Some Concerns about Hygiene: Some gloves are designed with plastic straps that are difficult to clean so they trap lots of bacteria. Note this when washing your gloves.
So, what are metal mesh gloves used for? Let’s go straight to the first part of this article!
Table of Contents
The Different Uses of Metal Mesh Gloves
Besides their protective function, metal mesh gloves are used to prevent cross-contamination and exposure to bacteria, which makes them essential safety equipment for the three following fields:
1. Sheet metal work
Sheet metal working is defined as the manufacturing of products that contain components or parts of metal. Specifically, the workers are responsible for fabricating and installing the thin metal sheets. Thus, the procedure involves a lot of punching, rolling, forming, joining, welding, and of course, cutting.
Therefore, it is vital that sheet metal workers must always wear a pair of metal mesh gloves. This will reduce the chances of them accidentally being cut by a sharp piece of metal.
2. Food processing
Among all industries, metal mesh gloves are probably most commonly used in food processing. There is a variety of mesh gloves for chefs depending on their purpose, such as chopping vegetables or holding fish with sharp fins.
Moreover, many cooks would prefer a pair of stainless steel mesh gloves in their kitchen. The reason is that this kind of mesh gloves are more durable and resistant to being oxidized when used for a long time.
Thus, it is really cost-effective to purchase mesh gloves for long-term usage. Moreover, working with stainless steel mesh gloves will help the process of preparing raw ingredients, such as pork, chicken, beef, etc. cleaner. Consequently, this guarantees a higher level of hygiene and food safety.
3. Textile cutting
Lastly, metal mesh gloves are usually worn by workers in the field of textile cutting. Particularly, textile cutting workers need to split the textile garment with great precision and consistency. In order to do so, various techniques are applied, such as computerizing cutting.
Because of its complication, workers need a high level of concentration and optimal protection. Therefore, they are recommended to use metal mesh gloves while working w.
Nevertheless, it is worth noticing that metal mesh gloves are not puncture- nor cut-proof, but they are resistant to puncture and cut. Thus, there is still a slight chance that you get cut even when you are wearing a pair of metal mesh gloves.
Yet, this won’t be a big problem since metal mesh gloves have the ultimate protection from cuts and punctures compared to other types of gloves. Now that you have learned the different purposes for using metal mesh gloves, let’s proceed to see what the regulations for these gloves are.
OSHA Regulations for Mesh Gloves
There are no industries in which the application of metal mesh gloves is compulsory. Consequently, it is not illegal if the workers are not fully equipped with metal mesh gloves while performing their tasks.
Nonetheless, it is highly encouraged by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) that all workers whose work involves using sharp tools such as knives be provided with metal mesh gloves, safety aprons, as well as forearm and wrist protection pieces. More details can be found in the OSHA document called “Safety and Health Guide for Meatpacking Industry”.
Cleaning Your Metal Mesh Gloves
You have to wash your metal mesh gloves sometimes after having used them for a while, right? This is even more true for those who work in the food processing industry, which requires a great level of hygiene.
The washing process is quite simple with a brush, some hot water, some soap, and non-acid disinfection. Using disinfection that contains acid will risk damaging your gloves since there might be some chemical reactions between the acid and the metal.
- Prepare some warm water at the temperature of 122°F (approximately 50°C).
- Pour a good amount of soap in the prepared water and mix them with a brush.
- Brush your metal mesh gloves; make sure to go into every chain of metals.
- Rinse your gloves with clean warm water.
- Soak the mesh gloves in hot water at 179.6°F (around 82°C) for a couple minutes to kill all the bacteria.
- Use the disinfection solution to rinse the gloves one more time. Make sure the solution meets all safety requirements for food-hygiene service.
- Let your mesh gloves dry completely before using.
Some Concerns About Hygiene
In the last section of this article, I think it is helpful to talk about some hygienic concerns with metal mesh gloves. Originally, metal mesh gloves were designed with fabric straps around the wrists to fully protect our hands.
Thus, this raises a hygienic issue as thoroughly cleaning the fabric straps is super challenging. Therefore, these straps become ideal places for bacteria to hide and grow.
To deal with this problem, new metal mesh gloves are introduced without the fabric straps. Therefore, you can consider purchasing these instead of the old ones.
That’s the end of this article. To answer the question, “What are metal mesh gloves used for?”, I would say they are primarily used in food processing, sheet metal works, and textile cutting. You should also be aware of some hygienic issues while using them.
I hope you enjoy this article. Let me know which metal mesh gloves you chose to use and what you use them for in the comment section. Share this article with your family and friends as well.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.