Does anyone know of any safety organization like OSHA that gives a list of tools that should not be operated while wearing gloves? It has always been my understanding that a person should not wear gloves when operating any rotating tool because of the danger of the gloves getting caught in the rotating part and breaking fingers or loosing a limb.

Unfortunately the safety department does not agree with me and I am concerned for the safety of my crew.

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    Loose improperly sized gloves = Dangerous. Properly fitting gloves = Safety. Get your crew some good properly fitted gloves, and make sure they are replaced as they wear out.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 13:13
  • Adding on to @Tester101 - gloves appropriate for the work and weather are important too. You wouldn't wear stiff leather gloves to clean a carburetor in the parts cleaner, you wouldn't wear winter gloves to saw lumber summer, and so on.
    – Freiheit
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 14:47
  • 5
    I never wear gloves when operating lathes, mills, drill presses, or bench grinders. Basically any tool that has a rotating component, weighs more than me, or has a gap a glove could get sucked into. I'm not sure what OSHA would say to that though.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:30
  • 3
    I think its also useful to know the scenario. ie: Use of gloves will be different on a construction site than in a workshop
    – Steven
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 15:47
  • Search for the word "glove" in this OSHA publication Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations for examples of accidents caused by wearing gloves near machinery. Also see this thread at the Practical Machinist forum for a discussion of the issue.
    – user59737
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 21:49

9 Answers 9


from OSHA Guide for Protecting Workers from Woodworking Hazards

Hand and Arm Protection

Your workers' hands and arms will need protection from burns, bruises, abrasions, cuts, and exposure to the chemicals used in finishing.

Protective gloves are the primary means available for direct hand protection. Extra-long gauntlets or sleeves attached to the gloves can extend protection up the arm. However, the appropriateness of glove use in the woodworking workplace should be carefully reviewed on a task-by-task basis. Gloves should not be worn when operating woodworking equipment due to the potential for getting caught in moving parts.


For Osha, I only see a chemical list for gloves, for tools I don't see a list. If you are required to wear gloves or other PPE, the company should have proper training and/or documentation for the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I know it sounds kind of silly (how do I use gloves) but it is required.

General Statement of Glove PPE from Osha

For hand protection, there is no ANSI standard for gloves but OSHA recommends that selection be based upon the tasks to be performed and the performance and construction characteristics of the glove material. For protection against chemicals, glove selection must be based on the chemicals encountered, the chemical resistance and the physical properties of the glove material.


The above link/document has lots of details on PPE.

I don't think there is any hard rules on glove use. For starters, whatever tool is being used, look at the manual to see if glove use is forbidden. It should be clearly marked. Usually there is a safety page that shows what PPE equipment should be employed for the operation of the tool.

Also, as others have pointed out in the comments, use a glove that fits and is right for the job at hand.


You absolutely do not wear gloves while using rotating power tools. The caveat to this rule is tools with 2 handles like chainsaws and metabos. I don't care what OSHA says, gloves near a drill press, lathe, table saw, etc are a recipe for disaster. There are some garments filled with string that will cause a saw to snag and stop. These garments are used with chainsaws as far as I know. But they're not gloves.

Unless it's a low rpm meat slicer, and your gloves are chain mail, you don't wear gloves while using rotational power tools. This is common knowledge. Gloves won't protect you from a saw blade. They may make an accident worse.


I know this from working in Germany being officially a thing where the Skilled Worker Chamber (IHK, Industie und Handwerks Kammmer) forbids the use of gloves on machines that are used in any form to create shavings/chippings of materials (drills, blades, etc.) while it is allowed for things like sanders, concrete breakers etc.

Being in the U.S. I am surprised that it seems to be allowed across the board as it can lead to worse injuries if one wears gloves, long sleves, rings etc. when working on said machine types.

The rationale they use in Germany the increased risk of injury severity and believe it or not, the ultimate "pusher" of those regulations are insurance companies that will reject short term medical coverage or long term disability coverage if they find out things like golves or long sleves were worn or other safety violations made during the accidents.

Here is the official reference translated via google translate from German to English: https://www-komnet-nrw-de.translate.goog/_sitetools/dialog/29206?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp#:~:text=bei%20Arbeiten%20an%20Band%2D%20oder,Verbot%20zur%20Benutzung%20von%20Handschuhen.

Disclaimer: I am not representing my company and this is not legal advise but rather my personal opinion.

  • It's nice to have an update to a 2012 question with a great 2023 citation. I don't think your answer correctly summarizes what is in the link. Your answer says "forbids the use" but the linked article from Germany echoes the popular answers above, saying you have to carefully consider the specifics of each task and its risks. If I wanted to make one generalization it would be no loose gloves on a machine where you handle the material (not the machine) and your hands approach the moving parts as you do so.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 17:09
  • I love the (translated) language in the linked article "it must be clarified ... whether the protective effect predominates". In other words, you should wear gloves if you should wear gloves, and be smart every time! :)
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 17:11

Recently they ask me about this, an older employee told me he has never use gloves while operating a circle saw or a grinder because he feels the the use of gloves increases the risk of your hands getting caught in, but with every incident involving rotating saws or machinery I fell the need of asking certain questions, If your hand got caught up by the saw you don't think maybe that happened because you didn't have proper distance from the rotating wheel? Or were you wearing the right glove? It wasn't the glove that cause the accident right? My employer requires everybody to use gloves while cutting anything. I think the problem is that maybe sometimes we didn't learn the proper way to use tools and we have been using them the same way for so long that when we get told or suggest to use it in a different way, we don't take it so well, I'm not saying you're right or wrong but if what their telling me is gonna keep me safe I wouldn't hesitate in doing it.

  • The glove may not cause the accident, but if the glove wraps around the tool and pulls your hand in, it could make the difference between getting a bandaid or an amputation.
    – Grant
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 4:33

The Operators Manual of each piece of equipment will tell you what PPE to wear and what NOT to wear. Check the Owners/Operators Manual for each specific tool you are concerned about.


We are a metal fabrication shop and drill presses are a big useage. We always had a policy to not wear gloves during drill press operation and recently adopted a policy that allowed the skin tight type of neoprene gloves. The operators like it for the fact it will prevent the flutes from scratching their hands and they have good grip opposed to bare oily skin. What legislation says regarding this I would like to know.


Wearing gloves and using any rotating power tool can be hazardous to life and limb. Don't take short cuts. Secure the work in or to a vice, or some other apparatus before grinding, or cutting on the work with a cutting wheel. Use two hands on the tool and if a piece of the work is expected to fall away, use something to restrict the fall away.


TO handle piece of work @ bit Drill hand glove may be hazardous by to aovid any cut or hand injury from waste cutting chips and sharp edge ,neoprene hand gloves should be worn

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's hard to understand; would you edit your post to make it clearer? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 13:36

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