The locksmith industry has many dangers, but not all of them are obvious. When it comes to hand protection, many technicians do not take the concern seriously. There are countless reasons why a locksmith may need hand protection, but what are the main things that locksmiths need from their gloves?
1. Chemical Protection
While doing lock maintenance, locksmiths can be exposed to a variety of chemicals. Some of these may seem rather innocuous, but it is still important to know the chemical resistance of your disposable gloves. While each locksmith might have a different concoction they prefer for the process of removing rust or grime from an old lock, all mixtures have the potential to pose health risks. With extended use, chemicals with higher acidity can cause wear and damage to hands.
In the case of forensic locksmithing, the number of chemicals being handled require the use of protective gloves. In the field, it is hard to wash your hands as often as you may need to. But even during a routine service call, you might be touching several different chemicals, so being able to change gloves multiple times will be helpful. This type of safety matters in all industries, but as a locksmith, your hands are your greatest tool. It is important that you protect them from both short and long term damage.
2. Diminished Appearance of Impropriety
Locksmiths frequently work with law enforcement personnel. During these service calls, a forensic locksmith might need to deal with chemicals, but most locksmiths will only be servicing a locked door of some kind. Technicians should still be wearing their hand protection during this time to prevent polluting all further evidence gathering. It is best to remove the potential hassle for both yourself and the officers and keep your fingerprints obscured while working on the scene.
In cases where a locksmith is requested to open a locked car by police because the car has been abandoned or taken as evidence without the proper keys, it may not be obvious that you would need to protect your hands. Of course, you do not want to damage the crime scene, but it is also possible to allow certain illegal or dangerous chemicals into your body if you are not properly protecting your hands. This may fall into chemical protection, but you also do not want to appear to have failed a drug test because of the substances you may have gotten on your tools and hands by interfering with interior door panels (often used for storing illegal substances).
3. No Reduction of Dexterity
No matter what type of servicing you are doing as a locksmith, there is a certain level of finesse that you need to get the job done. Taking a lock apart to clean it, or examine it, forces you to interact with extremely small internal mechanisms. If your gloves are too bulky, the decreased dexterity will cause parts to be dropped, and potentially lost.
When providing services such as lock outs where hand protection is still necessary, a glove that is too thick may also decrease not only your overall dexterity but also reduce your tactile sensitivity. When working on methods of covert or surreptitious entry for locks or even safes, it is incredibly important that you can feel the feedback from the device you are manipulating. A lower-mil glove will allow you to keep your hands protected while preserving that much-needed dexterity.
Most locksmiths know to use their gloves when dealing with potentially dangerous chemicals, but locksmiths should know if their gloves are up to the task. When it comes to protecting yourself from false claims of illegal behavior, a set of gloves is also necessary. Safety gloves are important for protecting a locksmith’s reputation. And while using safety gloves, a locksmith cannot have their dexterity reduced too greatly. It is important that a locksmith is able to do their job to the best of their ability while protecting their health and their reputation.