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Safety Glove Size Chart

Quick Tips #306

When a job calls for specific hand protection, it is the responsibility of the employer to make a hazard assessment and then determine the best glove for the hazards that exist for that particular application. Once a glove is found or selected for duty, then glove size needs to be determined. Employers are often required to select more than one size for various employees that may have to don hand protection for various applications.

Ordering gloves too small or too large can result in job-completion delays, as well as possible hand injuries. When the selected hand protection is too small, the gloves can be uncomfortable and cause hand fatigue. If the glove material is stretched beyond its capabilities, it will tear or rip easily when in use, which is wasteful, costly, and increases the possibility of injury due to an unprotected hand. A glove that is too small can compromise hand dexterity for the wearer, so the chances of the end user not wearing the glove for intended purposes is likely. Then again, when you select hand protection that is too large, a safety issue can result with gloves getting caught into moving parts of machinery or snagged on jagged edges. A glove that is too loose can literally be pulled off the hand, or worse, could result in pulling a glove, hand or person into moving machinery.

It is important to know how to measure the hand to get the most proper safety glove size and fit. Measuring the hand for correct fit will give the employee the best possible protection without compromising the task, duty or safety of the wearer.

To find the correct safety glove size, you will want to measure around the hand (a dominant hand measurement is preferred) with a tape measure. The dominant hand will be the right if you are right-handed and left if you are left-handed.


Use a tape measure to measure around your hand.

If the gloves you are purchasing come in numbered sizes, you can relate the inch measurement of your hand directly to the numerical size listed for the glove. For example, if the measurement taken is 8 inches, then you would select a size 8 glove. If your taken measurement is over 8 inches, then the next size larger should be selected to avoid hand fatigue from wearing a glove that's too small. If the gloves you are purchasing come in lettered sizes, such as XS, S, M, L, XL, these can be easily translated to a numerical size for easy selection. See the safety glove size chart below for numerical and lettered sizing relation.


Men's Sizes Women's Sizes
Size Inch cm Size Inch cm
XS 7 18 XS 6 15
S 7 1/2-8 20 S 6 1/2 17
M 8 1/2-9 23 M 7 18
L 9 1/2-10 25 L 7 1/2 19
XL 10 1/2-11 28 XL 8 20


Since many gloves are offered in different lengths, it is important to determine the length of the glove you will need based on the task. Typically, the ideal length of the glove can vary depending on depth of immersion in a solution, or the level of splash protection required. To ensure the best protection of the hand, wrist and forearm, use this guide as a template for length measurement, and measure the length of the arm.


Arm lengths-how to get a proper fit.

Taking the time to accurately measure and select the correct size of glove for your employees is crucial in providing adequate hand protection. Without correct-fitting gloves your employees have a higher risk of remaining unprotected in the workplace, which can lead to unwanted hand injuries.


Quick Tips #166: Chemical Resistance Guide for Gloves
Quick Tips #192: Hazard Assessment Form
Quick Tips #301: Cut-Resistant Glove Selection and Use

(Rev. 1/2012)

Find even more information you can use to help make informed decisions about the regulatory issues you face in your workplace every day. View all Quick Tips Technical Resources at

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Please Note:
The content in this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific compliance questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.

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