Protective Gloves: How to Choose the Right Ones for Your Needs

Protective gloves are a critical part of many workplaces, offering the protection you need to prevent unnecessary exposure to chemicals and hazards that employees may encounter. They are also important to protect your customers from the risk of employees spreading germs in industries like food service or manufacturing. If you are looking for gloves for your workplace, here are some criteria to help you decide which ones are the most appropriate.

1: What Protection is Needed?

Selecting gloves begins with a review of the types of chemicals and hazards to which your employees might be exposed. Some chemicals can penetrate specific types of gloves, so you want to make sure you have the right protection. Consider things like:

• Type of chemical
• Temperature extremes
• Physical hazards, such as sharp objects
• The pH level and toxicity of chemicals
• Potential for infectious materials

2: Will Contact Be Incidental or Extended?

If the risk of contact is low and the contact a person might have will be limited to things like accidental spills, splashes, oversprays, or other things, the necessary gloves will be different than if your employees are going to have extended or prolonged exposure to chemicals and hazards. Prolonged exposure to infectious agents or damaging chemicals will require thicker or heavier-duty gloves that are more resistant.

3: Are Latex Allergies a Concern?

If your needs are for disposable or surgical types of gloves for incidental contact, such as in a doctor’s office, you still have some decisions to make. There are people who are allergic to latex, which is a common material used for these gloves, so you might want to consider other materials such as nitrile gloves because they don’t have the risk of allergy. They also tend to show visible signs when they are ripped, punctured,or compromised.

4: Will You Dispose of the Gloves?

If you are purchasing gloves for incidental contact, such as in a medical office, these gloves will be disposed of after each use. It’s important to find gloves that fit within your budget if you plan to dispose of each set of gloves so the purchase of supplies won’t require a significant investment every month.

5: What Areas of the Body Require Protection?

A final consideration for many gloves is how much protection you need up the arms. If the contact is incidental and the risk of getting infectious materials on your arms or other areas of the body are low, a simple glove that covers the hands should be enough. In situations where employees have higher risk of getting chemicals on their wrists and arms, a longer glove is necessary.

To find all the latex and nitrile gloves for your employees, check out our selection at The Ragman Company today.