If you don’t work in an industry that requires refrigerated storage, the term ‘freezer gloves’ may not mean much to you. If you have worked in the freezing temperatures of cold storage before, however, you’ll know how vital they are in staying warm and comfortable. This article will clarify 10 key questions you may have about freezer gloves, so you know you’re buying the right ones, for the the right application!
1. What are freezer gloves? Are they different to winter gloves?
Safety gloves classified as ‘freezer gloves’ are generally some sort of protective glove with insulated lining. You could think of them as extra warm winter gloves. It’s important to note here, determining the difference between winter gloves and freezer gloves can be hard, because manufacturers sometimes claim their thermal gloves are suitable for freezers, when they are really only made for chilly mornings! In our opinion, a freezer glove needs to be designed to be suitable, comfortable and safe in temperatures below 0°C.
2. Why are freezer gloves important?
Freezing temperatures pose the risk of cold injury to your body, and especially to your ‘extremities’ (hands and feet). Freezer gloves are a vital component of cold storage PPE to ensure your fingers aren’t at risk of injuries like frostbite or frost nip. Learn more about the risks of freezing fingers in this article.
3. Do freezer gloves need to meet any standards or ratings?
Yes, and no – it depends which country you’re working in! There are no Australian (AS/NZS) standards for PPE for freezing temperatures. There are European standards (EN511) for cold storage gloves, however, and Badger gloves are manufactured to these standards.
4. How do I know which style of freezer glove will suit best?
To find the freezer glove that will best suit your cold storage job, you need to consider two factors; warmth and dexterity. The level of warmth you need depends on the temperature of the freezer (is it a chiller at 3°C or a freezer at -25°C?), and how much your fingers feel the cold (people with circulation
5. How much insulation do my freezer gloves need?
Like in FAQ #4, this depends on the level of warmth and dexterity you require. Its also better to choose a glove with the latest technology in insulation, as it is less bulky but provides more warmth. For example, one of Badger’s Gold Gloves with 150g of Thinsulate’s insulation is much less bulky than a large, fur lined rigger glove, and keeps you hands just as warm!
6. How are chiller gloves different to freezer gloves?
Chilled cold stores run at a few degrees above 0°C – somewhere between 1°C and 5°C. Freezers are much colder, and run between -10°C and -60°C. Chiller gloves have less insulation and are much thinner.
7. What sort of glove palm is best for freezer gloves?
Mostly, you will need grip and durability from the palm on your freezer gloves. The most common task in a cold store is handling cartons, which can become very slippery from condensation. A good quality leather palm is still considered the ‘old favourite’ – they generally offer the best longevity and good grip. For more economical freezer gloves, a sticky nitrile dipped palm provides awesome grip and adequate durability.
The level of dexterity you need depends on the tasks you’re completing (do you need to be to write, or just handle bulky cartons?). Check out Badger’s Warmth vs. Dexterity freezer glove comparison here.
8. Do my freezer gloves need to be waterproof?
Again, it depends on your job role. Some products build up a lot of condensation in chilled storage, so will leave your gloves damp and cold if they absorb water in the freezer. Economical freezer gloves aren’t generally waterproof but still work well, as most cartons don’t build up too much moisture on them.
9. How long should I expect my thermal gloves to last?
This is a hard question! There are a lot of factors that influence how long your gloves last, but the answer we generally give is at least a month. However, we have pickers telling us they make a pair of Gold Gloves last 6 months, and other saying they handle so many cartons they chew through them in a single month!
Ultimately, the lifetime you get out of a pair of freezer gloves depends on the quality (you get what you pay for), and how you treat them. Learn 3 ways to make your gloves last longer in this article!
10. Can I wear ski gloves?
Yes, and no! Ski gloves can provide enough warmth, but you may find they don’t last very long, because they aren’t generally designed for durability. They are likely to be pretty pricey, as well!