The objective of this article is to analyze the levels of forearm muscular contraction associated with the use of anti-vibration gloves, in which the contraction levels with gloves and without gloves are compared. Two different vibrating tools - a Bosch Compact Duty Multi-Cutter and a Bosch Rotary Hammer carrying an empty set20 mm bit - were used in a simulated work environment. Standard operations were performed by each subject (n = 14) in an 80 x 40 mm pine bar (cross-sectional cuts with the Multi-Cutter) and on a concrete slab 2 x 2 m, 70 mm thick (20 mm holes with the Rotary Hammer). The forearm muscular efforts were measured by surface electromyography (EMG) in four different muscles: the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS), flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU), extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) and extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU). For the flexor muscles (FDS and FCU), a decrease tendency (p > 0.05) in the measured EMG was observed when the operations are performed with gloves relative to the bare hand (a reduction of 5-23% in the percentage of maximum voluntary exertion (%MVE)). For the extensor muscles (ECU), a tendency toward increased (p > 0.05) muscular contraction was observed when the operations were performed with gloves (an increase of 3-20% in the %MVE). No such tendency was found in the ECRL muscle. The ECU was the muscle with the highest %MVE for 10 and 11 operators (n = 14), during the operations, respectively, with the Multi-Cutter and the Rotary Hammer. As a final conclusion from the study, anti-vibration gloves may increase forearm fatigue in the posterior forearm (ECU muscle) and decrease forearm fatigue in the FDS muscle during operations with the above-mentioned tools. Relevance to industry: Anti-vibration gloves have been applied in industry to reduce the vibration transmitted into the hand and arms through the palms and fingers. This study analyzed forearm muscular efforts during simulated work tasks performed with two different vibrating tools, operated with the bare hand and with three different gloves, based on the analysis of EMG data. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.