Proper Clothing Keeps You Safe: Hand Protection
Gloves are designed and used to help protect us from injuries such as cuts, scrapes, punctures and heat or cold. One of the keys for proper gloves is that we chose the correct type for the work environment we are in. You would not want to use an oven mitt while rendering first aid to someone just as you would not want to use rubber or latex gloves to protect you from the cold. Gloves are made of different materials and offer protection from a variety of potential hazards in the work place and at home. Some include:
- Fabric gloves are made of cotton or fabric blends and are generally used to improve grip when handling slippery objects, they also help to insulate the hands from mild heat or cold.
- Leather gloves are used to guard against injuries from sparks or scraping against rough surfaces; they act as a barrier glove to protect dielectric gloves for handling electricity.
- Disposable gloves, such as rubber or latex, can protect you against Bloodborne pathogens and some chemical exposures.
- Chemical resistant gloves are made of rubber, neoprene, polyvinyl, etc. and can offer protection from corrosives, oils and solvents. When handling chemicals, follow the manufacture’s recommendations as found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
- Metal mesh gloves off protection against accidental cuts and scratches and are utilized while working with cutting tools or sharp instruments.
- Aluminized gloves provide reflective and insulating protection from heat sources and are made of synthetic materials.
Gloves shall be inspected before each use to ensure that they are not torn, punctured or rendered ineffective in any way. Any gloves that are found to be damaged need to be discarded.
Additional information about gloves and other types of personal protective equipment can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.pdf
Ensure that you have the proper hand protection for the environment you are working in and follow the work site safety policies. If you are unsure, please ask a supervisor or your safety professional.