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Why wouldn't I always wear the highest rated cut-resistant leather gloves?

By Henry Skjerven | Last updated: February 23, 2021

Great question. The easy answer is the straightforward one: yes, you could always wear the highest rated cut-resistant leather gloves for every task with an identified hazard for hand injury. In theory, you could also wear the same protective uniform as a NASCAR driver when you drive down the road.

I would suggest, however, that you consider whether the highest rated glove is necessary in every situation. The type of hazards you face, the frequency of exposure, and the severity of the harm that could result from an incident should all inform the level of protection you need.

(Read about the Top 10 Hazards to Your Hands - And How to Protect Against Them).


You should choose the level of protection that best mitigates both the risk potential and the degree of hazards you face. Wearing the highest level of cut-resistant gloves is a must if the hazard analysis and risk ranking indicate it is the best PPE to wear. However, there are considerations and questions to be discussed before a decision is made regarding PPE purchases, such as:

  • Is there a high risk of incident (frequency) and injury (severity)?
  • Will the consequences of an incident or injury be low cost or high cost?
  • What do Legislation, Standards, Codes and moral-ethical good management require of us?
  • Would PPE with the greatest protection create hazards in and of itself?
  • Are the costs of purchasing gloves with higher levels of resistance a factor?
  • What does incident analysis point to as personal and job factors related to incident/loss?

Answers to those questions will help make the determination of the best, most cost effective PPE for the task.

My recommendation is to run the numbers. If purchasing a higher degree of cut-resistance isn't required but it is cost-effective, spend the extra money. Because you can never be too safe.

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Written by Henry Skjerven

Mr. Skjerven has consulted professionally for over 27 years, with extensive Canadian experience, literally from coast to coast but with a home base in Western Canada. His experience ranges from marketing, adult education, and heavy transportation (rail) to municipal public works, fleet and transportation, oil and gas construction in the tar sands, emergency response (Fire and Ambulance), Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Security, as well as human resources and software systems, including enterprise style projects.

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