Stihl protects employees with breakthrough HyFlex® gloves with Dyneema® Diamond Technology
Safety gloves composed of innovative high performance fiber are helping Stihl, the world’s leading producer of heavy duty power chain saws, focus on continuing to develop equipment that makes cuts when and where they are needed, while protecting employees’ hands from accidental cuts during manufacturing operations.
During a recent review of safety gloves for employees at the company’s manufacturing plant in Wil, Switzerland, it was determined gloves meeting EN 388 cut level 3 offered the required protection. After extensive testing of a total of 13 different gloves, Stihl selected the HyFlex® 11-518, highly cut-resistant safety glove, as by far the thinnest, lightest, most dexterous and most comfortable solution available in this protection class. The HyFlex 11-518 glove meets the requirements of cut level 3 according to EN 388 and yet it is relatively thin for maximum dexterity. The glove is breathable, abrasion resistant, and has a thin polyurethane coating on the palm side for optimum tactility.
The HyFlex 11-518 is made by Ansell, a global manufacturer of safety protection solutions for manufacturing, medical and various other industries. It is considered the world’s first 18-gauge safety glove to meet the requirements of EN 388 cut level 3. The new glove was developed in close collaboration with the fiber specialists at DSM Dyneema and is based on advanced Dyneema® Diamond Technology. This technology delivers a yarn with about half the weight and thickness of those used in traditional HMPE gloves. This makes it possible to create a finer knitting structure, resulting in higher flexibility and improved grip, without any compromises in cut, tear and abrasion resistance. The fiber also has excellent heat conductivity for ‘cool feel’ – making gloves easier to work with when compared to heavier, stiffer gloves.
A cut resistant glove made with Dyneema Diamond Technology has a lower carbon footprint thanks to the need to use less material and its re-usability, making it overall a more sustainable solution. Gloves based on this technology can be washed and reused multiple times, depending on their use and wear, without losing their superior cut protection properties.
Roland Zürcher, safety expert at Stihl Kettenwerk GmbH & Co. explains: “We sought a safety glove that would significantly improve the cut protection for our employees as well as their willingness to wear them. The gloves we used previously were either too thick and heavy or didn’t offer enough protection. This was particularly true for the handling of smaller parts, such as the razor-sharp cutting teeth for the chains of our power saws. Despite their high cut-resistance, these gloves leave our employees with a safe feel for the parts. And when everything is under control at the first grip, work also has a much smoother and more productive flow.”
The new HyFlex safety gloves have been successfully in use for 12 months. The new gloves have met with a high level of acceptance among Stihl’s employees and there have been fewer hand injuries coupled with a positive effect on the costs of occupational safety insurance.
“We see a growing demand for thin yet extremely cut-resistant safety gloves in various markets.” says Werner Schwarzberger, Senior Regional Sales Manager Industrial & Specialty Markets at Ansell. “The Dyneema Diamond Technology used in the HyFlex 11-518 results in a glove that meets cut level 3 while at the same time providing the fingertip sensitivity of bare hands. DSM’s Dyneema Diamond Technology enables breakthrough achievement, as it allows us to reduce the required yarn diameter for this protection level by up to 50 percent versus conventional HMPE yarns.”