Reducing Facility Risk: A Guide to Choosing the Right Disposable Gloves for Workplace Safety

Choosing the Right Disposable Gloves for Workplace Safety

In the dynamic world of facility management, where risks flourish, one often-overlooked hero in the battle against workplace hazards is the humble disposable glove. These unsung protectors play a vital role in ensuring the safety of facility employees. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of choosing the right disposable gloves for risk reduction, managing workplace hazards through proper hand protection, and understanding the nuances of various disposable glove materials.

How to Choose the Right Disposable Gloves for Risk Reduction

When it comes to choosing disposable gloves for risk reduction, the right selection can be a game-changer. The key is to match the glove material with the specific hazards present in your facility. Start by reviewing industry standards specific to your applications. Next, assess the types of chemicals and substances your team encounters. Last, be sure to listen to employee feedback.

In this blog post, we will discuss and review the following:

  1. Importance of Knowing and Following Industry Standards
  2. Know Your Glove Materials and Their Benefits
  3. Review Chemical Resistance Guides
  4. Consider Employee Feedback

Industry Standards for Disposable Gloves

The disposable glove industry is subject to various standards and regulations to ensure the safety, quality, and performance of gloves used in various applications. These standards are established to address factors such as material quality, manufacturing processes, performance characteristics, and safety requirements. Here are some of the main disposable glove standards:

ASTM D6319: Standard for Nitrile Examination Gloves for Medical Application

ASTM D6319 specifies the requirements for nitrile gloves used in medical applications. It covers dimensions, physical properties, and performance characteristics to ensure the safety and efficacy of these gloves.

ASTM D3578: Standard Specification for Rubber Examination Gloves

This ASTM standard outlines the requirements for rubber examination gloves used in medical applications. It covers dimensions, physical properties, and performance testing to ensure the gloves meet essential quality and safety standards.

EN 455: Medical Gloves for Single Use

The EN 455 series consists of several European standards that specify requirements for medical gloves. These standards cover aspects such as dimensions, strength, and biological evaluation to ensure the safety and performance of disposable gloves used in medical settings.

ISO 11193: Single-Use Medical Examination Gloves

ISO 11193 is an international standard that provides specifications for single-use medical examination gloves made from rubber latex or synthetic materials. It addresses requirements related to dimensions, physical properties, and testing methods to ensure product quality.

FDA 21 CFR 177.2600: Rubber Articles Intended for Repeated Use

The FDA 21 CFR Title 21 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifies the requirements for rubber articles, including gloves, that come into contact with food. It outlines the acceptable ingredients and limitations for rubber materials used in food handling.

ANSI/ISEA 105: Hand Protection Classification

While not specific to disposable gloves, this standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provides a classification system for hand protection based on performance characteristics. It helps users select gloves suitable for specific workplace hazards.

ISO 21420: General Requirements for Protective Gloves

ISO 21420 sets out general requirements for protective gloves, including disposable gloves. It covers aspects such as sizing, dexterity, marking, and information supplied by the manufacturer, aiming to ensure a consistent level of quality and safety across different types of gloves.

ASTM D6978: Standard Practice for Assessment of Resistance of Medical Gloves to Permeation by Chemotherapy Drugs

This ASTM standard focuses on evaluating the resistance of medical gloves, including disposable gloves, to permeation by chemotherapy drugs. It is crucial for gloves used in healthcare settings where exposure to hazardous drugs is a concern.

USP797/800 Gloves Requirements

  • Only use gloves labeled as ASTM-tested chemotherapy gloves.
  • Use powder-free gloves.
  • Avoid gloves with defects, pinholes or weak spots.
  • Wear two pairs of ASTM-tested gloves when compounding, administering, managing a spill, and disposing of Hazardous Drugs. For sterile preparations, only the outer glove needs to be sterile. Wear the inner glove under the gown cuff and the outer glove over the cuff. Place gloves with long cuffs over the cuff of the gown to protect the wrist and forearm.


Understanding Disposable Glove Materials

To make an informed choice, let’s delve into the world of disposable glove materials. Each material has its own set of benefits, making them suitable for specific applications.

Nitrile gloves are the superheroes of the disposable glove world. They offer superior resistance to a wide range of chemicals, making them ideal for handling hazardous substances like oils, greases, and certain solvents. Choosing nitrile gloves means choosing durability, flexibility, and reliable protection.

Latex gloves, known for their elasticity and comfort, are excellent for tasks requiring precision. While latex provides good protection against acids and bases, it’s essential to note that individuals with latex allergies may need an alternative option.

Vinyl gloves are cost-effective and suitable for low-risk tasks. They offer protection against mild chemicals and are an excellent choice for tasks where durability is not the primary concern. Vinyl gloves provide a comfortable and budget-friendly option for routine activities.

Synthetic (Vinyl/Nitrile Blends) Gloves: Blending the best of both worlds, synthetic gloves combine the strength of nitrile with the affordability of vinyl. These gloves provide a balanced solution, offering resistance to a variety of chemicals while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

Chloroprene gloves are the go-to choice for those seeking a synthetic alternative to latex. With excellent resistance to oils and acids, chloroprene gloves provide reliable protection and comfort.

Disposable Glove Chemical Resistance Chart


Consider Employee Feedback

It’s important to consider employee feedback when selecting disposable gloves. An often-overlooked variable, this is vital for ensuring individuals are comfortable, protected, satisfied, and have the proper tools to complete the job.

Let’s take a look at some of these factors.

Task Specificity: The nature of the work dictates the type of glove required. For instance, nitrile gloves are preferred in chemical labs due to their high chemical resistance, while latex gloves are favored in healthcare due to their superior dexterity and comfort.

Allergen Considerations: Allergies to latex are common, so it’s crucial to consider alternatives such as nitrile or vinyl gloves for those with sensitivities.

Glove Thickness and Durability: The thickness of a glove impacts its durability and protection level. Thicker gloves offer more protection but may compromise dexterity.

Size and Fit: Gloves should fit well to ensure comfort and prevent tearing. A too-tight glove can restrict movement, while a loose glove may not provide adequate protection.

Managing Workplace Hazards with Proper Hand Protection

Effective risk reduction begins with proper hand protection. Choosing the right disposable gloves ensures that your team can confidently tackle workplace hazards without compromising safety. From chemical spills to biohazardous waste, the right gloves act as a barrier between potential harm and the skilled hands that keep your facility running smoothly.

In conclusion, reducing facility risk starts with a thoughtful selection of disposable gloves tailored to your facility’s needs. By understanding the benefits of different glove materials and their resistance to specific chemicals, you empower your team to face workplace hazards with confidence. So, go ahead, equip your facility with the right disposable gloves, and let safety be the unsung hero in your daily operations.

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