Taking off the Gloves: There's No Reason for Non-Compliance

This article is based on an original publication by Ansell.

If you keep an eye on any group of plant workers for long enough, you're bound to notice someone removing their gloves - and possibly keeping them off. Citing issues ranging from job interference to personal discomfort, workers take off their gloves while on the job for any number of reasons. While periodic glove removal was once an unavoidable aspect of the job, modern fabrics, technologies and techniques allow workers to wear their gloves continuously, eliminating the old excuses:

1. "Gloves are not as comfortable as bare hands." Reportedly the primary reason for removal of hand protection, discomfort was once the product of bulky, ill-fitting gloves which contributed to hand fatigue and limited range of motion. Modern, ergonomically-designed gloves ensure flexibility and comfort while allowing for improved dexterity and decreased fatigue. Many newer hand protection products incorporate moisture management technologies with a breathable design to manage perspiration and lessen the risk of dermatitis.

2. "There's no glove that provides all the protection that I need - and wearing multiple gloves at once just won't cut it." It was once common to combine different gloves to ensure to the proper level of protection. While a worker should always invest in a glove that protects against the greatest hazard, many current glove options offer multiple levels of protection to reduce the risk of cuts, abrasions, chemicals and more - while also ensuring user comfort and dexterity.

Some newer technologies even incorporate a liquid-impermeable layer to prevent oil and other lubricants from contact with the worker. Modern cut-resistant options are constructed with high-performance yarns and coatings to combine ANSI Level 2 cut resistance with ANSI Level 5 protection against abrasion, and can even be washed repeatedly without losing their defining protective properties.

3. "I can't work as fast with gloves on." Bulky work gloves of the past limited movement and virtually eliminated sensitivity in the worker's fingertips. To improve dexterity workers often removed the fingertips from their gloves altogether or took off the gloves entirely in order to effectively perform certain tasks - presenting risk of injury and exposure to chemicals and other hazards. Fortunately today's modern glove options combine tactility with comfort for enhanced productivity over a range of applications. Current technologies often employ coating treatments designed to reduce the force required to maintain a firm grip - minimizing the risk of disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Bottom-line Benefits

Engineered for maximum comfort and productivity, modern glove designs save both time and money with unique performance and protection benefits to help control spend, reduce injury rates and encourage workers to keep their protective hand gear in place. By conducting a personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment, purchasing personnel will ensure workers have access to the right type of glove for their specific application. Training should be implemented whenever changes to PPE are made to promote consistency and long-term, proper use.


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