Personal Protective Equipment – Gloves

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Personal Protective Equipment:
Gloves
Choose Hand Safety
• A hand injury can impact productivity
or end a career
• Injuries include cuts, breaks,
amputations, burns, nerve damage, and
dermatitis and other skin disorders
• Wearing the right gloves can prevent
injuries and protect your hands
Photo courtesy
Kiewit Power Constructors
The ‘best’ glove will depend on the
task being performed and the
material being used
Type of glove
Protection
Leather
Insulated
Cut-resistant
Abrasion
Heat and hot objects
Cuts and lacerations
Anti-vibration
Reduces risk of nerve damage
from tool vibration
Burns, dermatitis and other
skin disorders caused by direct
contact with chemicals
Chemical-resistant
What do you need to know to
select chemical protective
gloves?
1. The chemical you are using and how long
the glove will protect against that chemical.
2. The differences in protection among glove
materials for the same chemical. What
works for one chemical may not for
another!
3. Chemical resistance decreases as gloves
break down (crack, weaken). Some offer
more physical resistance, but all should be
thrown out once they begin to break down.
Four-Point Approach to
Choosing Gloves
1. Determine contaminant (chemicals) in the
product that will be used
2. Determine how the product will be used
and potential exposure to chemical
3. Evaluate glove's chemical resistance
4. Evaluate glove’s physical resistance
Photo courtesy International
Masonry Institute
Consider the following when
evaluating a glove material’s
chemical resistance
Photo courtesy of the International Masonry Institute
Factors to consider
Process
Permeation
Explanation
a chemical passes through protective glove
material at a molecular level
Breakthrough the time required for a chemical to pass
time
through the glove material
Degradation
the change in one or more of the material’s
physical properties. Gloves may swell, get
harder, get softer, weaken (and tear),
become brittle, or blister.
Penetration
the movement of liquid chemicals through a
material, rips, punctures, stitched seams, or
imperfections in the glove
It is critical to understanding
the symbols in chemical
resistance tables
nd = not detected
nt = not tested
ID = insufficient data
NR = not recommended
T = good for total immersion
I = good for intermittent contact
What does this mean for glove
resistance to acetone?
Hazardous
Chemical
Nitrile
Viton
Butyl
Acetone
3 (291) NR
0 (383) NR
> 8 hr. (0.066) T
Breakthrough
time in minutes
(sometimes it is
in hours)
Permeation rate, in
(µg/cm2/min)
The higher the
number the faster
the chemical
passes through
the material. Often
presented
qualitatively
(excellent, very
good, good, etc.)
Indicates
whether or not
the glove is
recommended
for the chemical
In this example, which glove is
best?
Hazardous
Chemical
Nitrile
Viton
Butyl
Acetone
3 (291) NR
0 (383) NR
> 8 hr. (0.066) T
The Butyl glove would be best because it has:
• The longest time before the chemical breaks through
the glove and reaches your hand (greater than 8 hours).
• The lowest permeation rate at 0.066 so it will take
longer for the chemical to pass through the glove to
your hand.
• A high level of protection. ‘T’ indicates it can be totally
immersed in the chemical and still be protective.
Putting on Your Gloves
(donning)
1. Gloves come in many sizes. Pick ones that fit your
hand size
2. Make sure it’s the right glove for the chemical and task
3. Make sure your hands are clean before donning
gloves
4. Make sure gloves are the right length so all potentially
exposed skin is covered
5. If reusing gloves:
– Fabric and leather should be cleaned
– Check for holes, tears, worn areas and replace if you
find defects
When taking off your glove (doffing),
always assume PPE is contaminated
and peel the glove away from you body
Source: CPWR -- A Safety & Health Practitioner's Guide to Skin Protection
Your bare hands should not
touch the outside of the glove!
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Research for this presentation was funded by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, using grant U60 OH009762 from the
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily
represent the official views of NIOSH.
CPWR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and training institution created by the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), AFL-CIO,
and serves as the research arm of the BCTD. CPWR provides safety and health research and information for the construction trades and
industry. For more information, visit www.cpwr.com.
© 2013, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. All rights reserved.

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