How ProFlex Cut-Resistant Gloves & Sleeves Solved Contamination & Comfort Complaints for a Major Cooler Manufacturer

3 Jun 22
ProFlex gloves over manufacturing facility image

One of the leading cooler manufacturers originally came to Ergodyne to solve an all-too-common cut-resistant sleeve dilemma. What resulted was a one-two punch of shoulder to fingertip protection bolstered by exclusive TenaLux yarn, a comfortably cool alternative to traditional cut-resistant materials.

When it comes to injuries in the workplace, manufacturing consistently ranks atop of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual list. In 2020, the industry reported a whopping 370,000 nonfatal incidents—second only to the health care sector which experienced unusually high numbers due to, well, you know, that whole global pandemic thing.

And while manufacturing facilities are a plethoric madhouse of safety hazards, the risk of being cut is particularly high for those working with machinery and sharp materials (which is to say, nearly everyone). The same 2020 BLS data reported nearly 14,000 cut, laceration and puncture injuries resulting in missed work days.

In most cases, solving the ever-present cut problem is as easy as doling out cut-resistant gloves and hoping for the best. And with a host of features ranging from basic protection to more advanced tech, there’s no shortage of options available. But for those handling hot materials, even the most effective cut-resistant gloves were turning into a sticky, melty mess.

And one manufacturer in particular was tired of it…


Safety managers at a major cooler manufacturer first came to Ergodyne with a different problem entirely. Material handling workers needed extended arm protection from nicks and scrapes, but the cut-resistant sleeves they had been using kept falling down. Above the annoyance of constant twisting and tugging, a sleeve that leaves skin exposed is about as beneficial as no sleeve at all. And for the safety team, enough was enough.

Luckily, Ergodyne had just the fix. Enter the ProFlex® 7941 ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 A4 Cut-Resistant Sleeve—a first-of-its-kind sleeve engineered to prove that comfort and cut resistance aren’t mutually exclusive. To remedy those all-too-common fit issues, the 7941 combines an adjustable hook & loop strap around the upper arm with a thumb loop to keep the sleeve safely and securely in place when workers are on the move.

Worker wearing cut sleeves, gloves and safety helmet
To remedy common complaints with cut sleeve fit and comfort, the ProFlex 7941 Cut-Resistant Sleeve features breathable TenaLux yarn, a hook & loop strap and a thumb loop.

But to only speak to the 7941’s fit would be a disservice to its comfy, moisture-wicking feel. Unlike other arm sleeves that achieve cut resistance by way of stiff, hot and irritating fiberglass or steel fibers, the 7941 uses an uber comfortable blend of high-performance polyethylene (HPPE) fibers known as TenaLux yarn. Incredibly lightweight with 360-degree breathability and a cool-to-the-touch feel, TenaLux delivers on protection without any sticky sweat or pesky itch.

In short, they loved it. Ergodyne: 1, Cut Injuries: 0.

7040 sleeve with product reviews
Cut sleeves can be a pain to wear all day on the job. That's why workers love the comfort-forward design of the 7941.


While Ergodyne was getting their arms (pun intended) around the cut sleeve dilemma, they spotted something else at the facility that got their safety senses tingling… workers handling high heat materials were wearing two pairs of gloves.

Turns out cut-resistant gloves were providing the protection they needed, but the coated palms were melting off during the high heat plastic molding process—creating inconvenience and risking contamination. To get around this, a cut-resistant glove was worn as a liner beneath a non-coated knit overglove. Talk about a recipe for a sweaty, bulky disaster.

“On worksites, we’re always looking for the ‘duct tape’—both literally and figuratively. Where there’s a duct tape fix, there’s a problem that needs a better and safer solution,” explained Allie Thunstrom, Ergodyne’s Field Specialist. “In this case, the ‘duct tape’ was two pairs of gloves. There had to be a better way, but nothing out there was fulfilling their needs.”


Rather than reinvent the wheel, Ergodyne looked directly to the positive feedback they had already received to guide their next ideation.

“At that time, TenaLux was being exclusively used in only two products—the 7941 sleeve and our ProFlex® 7041 Cut-Resistant WSX dipped glove,” explained Aaron Skemp, Ergodyne Product Manager. “We already knew they loved the fit, feel and performance of that yarn, so the 7041 glove provided the perfect foundation to create the cooler, less bulky solution they needed. The only issue was the dip.”

Worker wearing gloves
The 7041 ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 A4 Cut-Resistant Glove was the first model in the ProFlex line to feature cool-to-the-touch TenaLux yarn.

But could the perfect fix for the manufacturer’s issues really be as easy as taking an existing glove and removing the coating? Yes, dear reader of all things safety, yes it could.

What resulted from Ergodyne’s testing was the ProFlex® 7040, a quite literally stripped down version of the 7041. No dip. No melt. No contamination.


ProFlex 7040 ANSI A4 / EN 388 Level 5 Cut-Resistant Gloves are made with non-irritating, breathable TenaLux yarn for maximum comfort and uncompromised protection. Unlike other anti-cut technologies, TenaLux yarn is constructed of high-performance polyethylene (HPPE) fibers for high cut resistance without glass or steel. These cut-proof gloves will not contaminate materials, making them ideal for food prep or other environments where contamination is a risk.

The lightweight TenaLux knit features 360-degree breathability and a cool-to-the-touch feel to prevent overheating and sweaty hands. The seamless knit cuff fits comfortably snug, keeping dirt and debris from getting inside gloves. The hi-vis color enhances visibility for safety when working with knives or other sharp objects. 

These are particularly effective as food prep gloves for those working in industrial kitchen settings, but are also a great choice for anyone working in material handling where contamination is a risk. 


VIDEO: ProFlex® 7040 Cut-Resistant Gloves Are Non-Contaminant for Work in Food Prep and Material Handling

“It’s not uncommon for us to go through months—in some cases, years—of product testing and development to really nail down a solution,” said Skemp. “In this situation, the customer already knew exactly what they wanted. It went through the exact same production as the 7041, we just stopped before the coating went on.”


After finding the right fix for one manufacturer, Ergodyne realized they had another opportunity on their hands (the puns write themselves, really). The new glove already proved it could pass one contamination test, why not see if it could pass the FDA’s? By adding a food grade certification, the team could go beyond one customer’s needs to provide an innovative safety solution for workers across the entire food processing and prep industry.

7040 gloves cutting into steak
FDA-approved for no contamination, the ProFlex 7040 makes a great option for industrial kitchens and material handling alike.

And so the 7040’s heroic quest continued as it was shipped off for FDA CFR 175.300 testing. For those not as well versed in their federal standards (are you even American?), this evaluates a material’s total extractive residues. Approval would certify the glove poses no contamination risk during any point of the manufacturing processes—from molding and assembly to packaging and transporting.

Now if we were following the 2020s narrative arc, this is the point where we’d deliver the gutting news that the gloves put up a valiant effort but ultimately failed to rise to the occasion.

But this, friends, this is a feel-good story. The nakedly knit 7040 passed the FDA residue tests with flying colors, resulting in a contaminant-free food grade glove that both manufacturers and food industry workers alike could rep comfortably and confidently from clock in to clock out.


No other cut-resistant yarn feels quite like it. Play a cool hand on cut protection with exclusive TenaLux Yarn.

TenaLux yarn gloves with features and benefits listed