Many employees of large-scale manufacturers are involved in both rigging and welding functions, requiring them to switch between gloves that are purpose-built for each function.One major U.S. shipbuilder saw the inherent waste and potential safety issues with this practice and asked Lincoln Electric to help.

Waste came in the form of time spent with the constant switching of gloves; it was inconvenient and inefficient for employees. Waste was also evident in the cost of maintaining a large inventory of two types of gloves in multiple sizes. Adding to the cost was the fact that both sets of gloves became unusable quickly, usually in about two weeks.

More important was addressing the safety factor. Hand and finger injuries are among the most frequent in the shipyard, and gloves are an important part of the employees’ safety gear. But neither traditional glove addressed the safety issues of the other.

The shipbuilder sought an alternative to reduce costs and improve worker safety. After one unsuccessful attempt on its own, the company turned to Lincoln Electric to find a solution. The company outlined its specifications and Lincoln Electric designed a prototype. Company employees tested the gloves in the shipyard under various working conditions.

Prototypes of what became known as the Roll Cage® Welding Rigging Gloves validated the customer’s needs, lasting longer than what employees had been using, resulting in the order of additional gloves. But more work was needed to ensure that the gloves provided even better protection for employees.  

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