Easy-Hold Glove for Mud Pans

An easy-hold glove is a tight-fitting glove attached to a mud pan.


An easy-hold glove is an engineering control that can help reduce musculoskeletal disorders from stressful hand and wrist activities.  It is a tight-fitting glove attached to a mud pan. The glove is bolted to the pan with a swivel mount. A bolt is welded to the bottom of the pan, and held by a nut inside the glove. This holds the pan in place. The glove fits snugly on the worker's hand and a Velcro® strap holds it in place.

A mud pan full of drywall compound can weigh more than five pounds. Continuously gripping the pan can put a lot of stress on your hand, wrist, and forearm. If the mud pan is too wide for your hand, you have to squeeze its sides to hold it, putting more strain on your forearm muscles.

The smooth sides and bottom on a mud pan make it hard to grip with bare hands. Because of its weight, size, and smoothness, you must use a lot of hand force to hold the pan.

All these types of strain can tire your hand, wrist, arm, and forearm. If you do drywall work often and for long periods of time, the strain may lead to serious injuries.

The three photos below offer an example of the problem, as well as an illustration of the solution and its use:

Mud pan held by worker with no glove   Mud pan held by worker with glove   Glove for holding mud pan

Use an easy-hold glove attached to the mud pan, which you can make yourself. The glove cuts down on the hand strength required to grip the pan. With the glove, all you need to do is balance the pan.

Risks Addressed:

Continuously gripping a mud pan containing drywall compound can lead to hand, wrist and forearm injuries.  Use of an easy-hold glove eliminates the need to squeeze the pan to maintain a grip because the swivel mount allows the worker to spin the pan in their hand as needed. In addition, the glove spreads the weight of the pan over the worker's whole hand.  

How Risks are Reduced:

The glove is bolted to the pan with a swivel mount. A bolt is welded to the bottom of the pan, and held by a nut inside the glove. This holds the pan in place. You never have to squeeze the pan.  Because of the swivel mount, you can spin the pan in your hand as needed.  The glove fts snugly on your hand. A Velcro® strap holds it in place.  The glove spreads the weight of the pan over your whole hand.  You need only to open your hand wide to balance the pan.  The pan swivels easily.

Reducing the requirement for a continuous grip on a slippery pan will reduce hand fatigue and strain.

Effects on Productivity:

Finishers who used the easy-hold glove liked it and said it was great for long periods of coating drywall.  They said that it cut down on their long-term fatigue and pain.  Researchers found that wearing the glove led to a 25% reduction in grip force needed to hold the pan.

There are some drawbacks.  Finishers said that it takes time to put the glove on and take it off.  Other tasks, such as putting up tape, cannot be done while wearing the glove.

Hazards Addressed:


Do-it-yourself mud pan glove
Use a tight-ftting glove with a stiff palm, such as a fingerless bicycle glove. Make sure the glove is not so tight that it affects blood circulation in your hand. But if the glove is too loose, you will end up gripping the mud pan tighter. A glove without fingers lets you use your own fingers more easily. However, it also makes the glove a little harder to take off, because the finger holes can get caught on your knuckles.

Fix the head of a small bolt to the bottom of the mud pan. You can weld the bolt or "glue” it using a metal-to-metal adhesive. Place a large (up to two-inch) washer on the bolt. Punch the bolt through the palm of the glove. Inside the glove, place another large washer over the bolt that sticks through. Tighten a lock nut over the bolt inside the glove. Cut off any part of the bolt that sticks above the nut and sand the bolt smooth. If the bolt still presses on the palm of your hand inside the glove, cover it with duct tape or another material.

Equipment like that described here may be available from local retailers or rental companies.

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.