Choosing the Right Glove-January 2014

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety 

January 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: Choosing the Right Glove

If one considers all the personal protective equipment and systems used to control occupational hazards, gloves probably are not at the top of the list.  Nevertheless, in any industrial facility, there are employees wearing all types of gloves. These may include gloves to protect against lacerations from knives, sharp edges, and splinters, and those used to protect against chemicals, vibration, electricity, radiation, heat, cold, or blood and bodily fluids. Gloves may also be used to protect the product. Gloves are made from many materials: leather to protect hands from rough surfaces, insulated for handling hot or cold objects, Kevlar and chain mail for sharp objects, anti-vibration, electrically insulated, and a wide variety of materials to protect against chemicals.

With so many types of gloves it may be difficult to get the right one for the job. However, it is important to recognize, that If not chosen properly, gloves can do more harm than good. Failure to do choose wisely can cause injury or even death.

  • Gloves may get caught in moving machinery.
  • Individuals may be allergic to latex.
  • If gloves are penetrated, chemicals can pass through and damage hands.
  • In conditions of extreme heat or high mechanical force, excessive vibration, or handling of harsh chemicals gloves may fail.

In order to determine if gloves are needed, a thorough job analysis of each task should be conducted. Gloves as with all PPE should be part of a comprehensive hazard identification program. If hazards are identified, then engineering controls should be initiated to eliminate or lessen the hazard.

The following steps should be followed if gloves are needed:

  • Select the one(s) that will control the appropriate hazard(s).
  • For chemical gloves check manufacturer supplied permeation and degradation charts to choose the right gloves for the chemicals on hand.
  • Have different sizes on hand.
  • Have an ample number in supply and don’t run out.
  • Make sure that purchasing and supply personnel receive training and are familiar with the use and limitations of each glove provided.
  • Provide information to employees on the hazards of their jobs, the purpose and availability of gloves available and their proper usage and limitations.
  • Provide cleaning and disposal stations.
  • Review the use of gloves as processes change or new products are added.

As with any safety program, Personal Protective Equipment is an important part of controlling hazards. Gloves are just another form of PPE that should be given the same consideration. For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or contact us at

OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.

This newsletter is published monthly by OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety Services, Inc. Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues

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