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I often unload truck's (and I enjoy it). But lately gloves (of the riggers/grip variety) have been distributed.

Im getting pressure from people higher up the food chain than me to wear them,however I feel much more comfertable not wearing them!Im aware of the risks here,but surely my comfort (and the security that provides me with) takes president here?

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I would tend to agree - provided you can justify that you are just as safe without gloves as with. In fact, in the unloading of a truck, you could often cite that the gloves make things slightly less safe - reduction in tactile responce etc. Maybe you could compromise and say that you will wear gloves when dealing with objects that have sharp edges, however when dealing with cases and boxes, you will use your bare hands.
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Is the problem with wearing gloves full-stop or wearing the gloves that the venue have supplied?


I noticed that a lot of our guys (myself included) seem to be sponsoring Gill, who make sailing gloves that also go very well into the fit-up/get-out stages of shows. Tactile response is far better than the generic riggers gloves that seem to be supplied and which seem to have come out of the local DIY shops cheapo range


Link to Gill gloves page


You could also try looking at gloves from Setwear


I certainly used to hate the idea of gloves but the constant scrapes and cuts began to get a little boring. We've also recently had one of our casual tech's lose the top of his finger, partly by mishap, and we are all wondering how much less damage he would've suffered if he had been wearing protective handwear.

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I often unload truck's (and I enjoy it). But lately gloves (of the riggers/grip variety) have been distributed.

Im getting pressure from people higher up the food chain than me to wear them,however I feel much more comfertable not wearing them!Im aware of the risks here,but surely my comfort (and the security that provides me with) takes precedent here?


I'm afraid this sounds like 'da management' are moving down the line of least resistance wrt the potential for fallout. In the 'old days' the responsibility for personal safety was mainly in the hands (pun intended :unsure:) of the individual, though to a great extent the larger employer may well have provided access to any safety clothing items as a matter of course.

But in these times of ever-increasing liability seeking/law suit slapping bloodsuckers, the likelihood of an individual suing, or being advised to sue, an employer over accidents that happen that could have been avoided grows almost daily. If the employer has insisted that safety gear should be used and the victim ignored the instruction, then it takes a lot of the liability off the employer, and thus their insurance company. If the individual then tries to claim off their own policy, the same situation would arise, leaving the individual up the creek without a paddle.


So, my recommendation would be that unless you can negotiate a trade-off that is DOCUMENTED with your employer regarding either the partial use of their gloves or substitution thereof for those of your choice (which may themselves need vetting) then any potential for serious damage to your donnies is entirely down to yourself.



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As a wimpo sparky, I've been wearing gloves during get-ins and fit-ups for years (we have such delicate hands, doncha know? ;) ). I used to wear fingerless cycling gloves, but recently have been converted to Musto sailing gloves, which are a lot better in terms of fit, padding, and durability. I've tried the ones with only one finger free, but didn't like them, again due to the lack of tactile sensation in the other fingers; and pretty soon the middle finger of both gloves had worn through and had to be cut off. So I now go for the full fingerless version.


I also think that the basic rigger's gloves are more of a hazard than not, as the fingers are too big meaning you can't feel anything and thus have a tendency to slip. But it's good to have some sort of padding or protection round the palms when you're lugging cold metal lanterns or truss first thing in the morning! :unsure:

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Damage to my hands wasnt a worry (I can deal with nicks and cuts).

So when you've gouged a quarter-inch deep gash in your palm from a protruding screw on a flight box, you'll accept then that had you been wearing adequate safety gloves and NOT make a claim on the management's insurance for loss of work because of the injury...?



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Second vote for the Musto gloves. I've got the ones with the first finger and thumb tips exposed. They give the grip, and the protection. I paid about £15 for them from Plasa last year, possibly from Rope Assemblies. They have lasted well and done their job. The softer leather means that they grip the items well. Great for Rigging Rigging, as they keep motor oil off your hands, and protect from those nasty steel spikes, whilst allowing you to do up shackles etc.
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Best pair of gloves Ive ever had was a pair of truckers gloves from a french truck stop. Tan kid leather, looked nice, very tough, very comfortable, perfect fit. I managed to leave them at one of the Cambridge halls when I was doing a cube wall for the end of year ball. Never managed to find another pair since.
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Guest lightnix

For everyday work, I swear by sailing gloves like these...




... the open thumb and index finger means that you still have the dexterity to do things like open flight case catches and do up wingbolts.

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Gloves & Health & Safety... ahhhhh..


If you are employed, and the employer makes a reasonable request for you to wear gloves, and you ignore it, then you are not just liable for your own injury, the employer is, if they have ignored the fact that you have ignored them (H&S sucks for employers)


The employer has a duty of care, and a responsibility to enforce its safety rules, so if you dont wear the gloves they can discipline you, and eventually dismiss you (this assumes it is a paying job, although even a volunteer, in theory would be the same, unless a amateur society, which may be a different case)


As for them supplying cack gloves, then that is your strength, basic riggers, either the furniture hide (leatherish) ones, or the basic riggers (canadian riggers) supplied are often a very cheap type, and do not class as any particular safety level in terms of cuts / splinters etc, in which case you can point this out to da management.


The gloves are actually not to bad, but most manufacturers sell them so cheap they dont bother having them rated, or quality assured.


Therefore they can only be supplying them for very basic protection, but their insurance wont be able to class them as effective PPE.


So you could argue that your own choice of glove is better, or even no glove, as the grip factor & ability to feel items is also a H&S matter, which they have to consider (they should support their decision with a risk assessment which has been agreed with persons doing the job, as the persons doing the job (meaning you) are the experts) & dropping something can easily be far worse than a splinter.


For glove protection levels try someone like ARCO (www.arco.co.uk) although I think last time I looked the web site was cack wth a capital S


Or go to www.fisher.co.uk/safety & request a catalogue.


NOTE: ANY OF THESE GLOVES are not very good, but you could show that the gloves your supplier is providing are not rated for the prevention of cuts & sharps, hence any glove would be OK, or they will have to go from 50p per glove to £5 per glove.


I think they would rather let you buy your own.


Although, I think you may struggle to get away with wearing none !


If you want to be arsy, look in their first aid box, I bet you £10 its mainly understocked of the right gear & it is out of date (all sterile items MUST have a use by date, including plasters)


Personally, I use cycling gloves which protect the main part of the hand & are padded & believe a big issue is the splinter and small cuts as these go septic easily as the crap backstage is amazing, expecially with Hemp rope.


Just so's you know, I am not an expert in anything, and am not a massive stage crew expert, but work at a steel manufacturing company with over 100 employees. and we have our fair share of accidents, although if dropping 20 tonnes on your head, gloves probably wont help, trendy ones or not.

www.anglering.com - out of interest.


in the above reply I stated...


NOTE: ANY OF THESE GLOVES are not very good


I meant, for back stage work, before I get sued.


Most gloves offering good protection, are uncomfortable & reduce feeling. (IMHO)



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PPE is graded in 3 categories, most gloves like this are category 1 and should be CE marked.

There is a code specifying mechanical, heat resisting and liquid resistant properties of most CE marked gloves.

PPE can be accurately specified according to task.

This job is the employer's (or self employed person) NOT the employee's.

If the PPE is required byt the employer to control a hazard, you can't 'choose' to not use it unless it was clearly impractical or dangerous.


I think you'd have a hard time showing not wearing gloves for handling flightcases was reasonable, likewise foot protection.

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