The correct Gloves are extremely important in keeping yourself safe from injury at home and within the workplace.
However, the level of protection you receive from the correct gloves will become non-existent if the gloves you use are unsuitable for the task you’re trying to complete. Not to mention that you could also compromise the health of others.
This article will highlight the importance of using incorrect gloves, and additionally:
- The types of gloves and their properties.
- The industries which should use gloves.
- What happens when you use the wrong kind of gloves?
- The European Standard.
The types of gloves and their properties:
There are more types of gloves than just latex and latex-free. The types of gloves you use can affect your safety if unsuitable materials that lack the correct properties necessary to protect you are used instead.
Listed below are the different types of disposable gloves:
- Nitrile Gloves
Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber and do not contain latex, which makes them perfect for those with allergies.
They are used in potentially dangerous environments which handle large quantities of harmful chemicals.
The synthetic rubber which the gloves are made from will undergo a series of tests, including EN374, which ensures that the tested gloves can withstand over 10 minutes of contact with highly-corrosive substances without snapping and exposing the skin of the handler to the potentially dangerous chemicals.
- Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl gloves are made using synthetic plastic polymers.
The production of vinyl gloves is fast and cheap, which is why vinyl gloves are used in large quantities and most often in low-risk environments.
They’re used in low-risk environments because although they are puncture-resistant enough for tools used in healthcare and cooking, they would be considered less reliable in industries where health and safety is integral.
Vinyl gloves do not protect against corrosive chemicals.
- Latex Gloves
Latex gloves are made from naturally occurring plant material and have a shelf-life of three years, unlike most other types of gloves that have an expiration date of five years.
Latex gloves best protect the hands from biohazards such as bacteria and bodily fluids. But much like vinyl, latex gloves can puncture after long periods of use, and holes can often be difficult to notice.
Their potential to break makes them unsuitable for high-risk environments.
- Polythene Gloves
Polythene gloves are made of high-density polyethylene materials and are used for very light tasks that offer protection from dust, dirt, and dyes.
They are not intended for use in moderately unsafe environments and should only be used in very low-risk situations.
- Industrial Gloves
Industrial gloves use a combination of fabric and rubber to protect the hands and skin against various potential hazards such as chemicals, external forces, and elements.
Industrial gloves often come in tens of variations specifically designed for the sectors they’ll be used in. For example, some gloves have reinforced thumb patches and extra cut resistance because they need to be able to handle sharp objects like glass and metal.
The industries in which gloves should be used:
Gloves are required in any environment where there is a risk to the health or safety of you or somebody else at your hands. Some of these industries include, but are not limited to:
- Animal Handling.
- Health and Beauty.
- Food Preparation.
What happens when the wrong type of gloves are used?
The amount of protection gloves provide is severely compromised when you use the wrong type of gloves.
The list below details some consequences of wearing the incorrect type of gloves:
If you’re wearing the incorrect protective gloves, then there is a chance that your gloves might break, and you could be cut or sustain an injury that may result in infection.
- Chemical Burns
You should only wear Nitrile gloves when handling corrosive materials because Nitrile is incredibly resilient and durable. So, the risk of breakage is low.
Vinyl, latex, and polythene gloves can tear and allow chemicals to reach your skin. So, using those types of gloves for jobs in which chemical burns are possible can be dangerous.
- Allergic Reaction
Latex allergies can be deadly, so it’s important to ensure that latex gloves aren’t used around food. Latex residue can rub away from the gloves and transfer to the food you’re preparing, which a latex-allergic individual may react to.
Polythene gloves or latex-free gloves are far better suited to food preparation, as they don’t contain latex and are designed to be very lightweight and maintain a strong barrier between your bare hands and the food you will be serving.
You must only buy gloves specially designed for electrical work if you work with electrically conductive materials.
Average gloves will not prevent you from being shocked, so it is very important to check the maximum voltage your gloves can withstand before you work with anything electric.
The European Standard:
The European Standard is a series of tests that certain products must undergo to be manufactured and eventually sold in Europe.
The standards that gloves need to meet are printed on the box, so to check which gloves would be appropriate for your workplace, you can reference the; ‘Quality Signs’ to ensure that you are staying safe.
We hope that you’re more knowledgeable about the importance of using the correct gloves for reading this post.