There are several types of protective gloves designed for different types of work. They differ in the material they are made of, and the additional protection they provide. At work, it is important to have unrestricted hand mobility, secure grip, and an adequate level of protection against mechanical damage. Hand protection is essential for safety in certain jobs. The choice of suitable gloves should be carefully analysed or consulted with an OHS specialist.


The most important OHS principles

Hands are the primary route of transmission for microorganisms. To prevent infection, proper hygiene procedures and standards must be followed. Using and providing staff with disposable gloves selected according to the type of activity performed is not only the employer’s obligation resulting directly from the Labour Code, but above all helps to ensure the safety of staff.

Remember! According to Chapter IX of the Labour Code Act of 26 June 1974 (Journal of Laws of 1974, No. 24, item 141), it is the employer’s obligation to provide employees with effective personal protective equipment adequate to the type of hazard, free of charge.

Benefits of choosing the right gloves
The right gloves matching the user and their working conditions, taking into account the relevant risk factors, as well as properly organised procedures, are the most effective means to ensure a sufficiently high level of health and safety at work, desirable due to the required compliance with law applicable in the industry, meeting social expectations, and the ability to achieve positive results for the organisation.

How to choose the right gloves?
  • Specify the area of use.

  • Specify the risk of contact with biological material.

  • Specify the risk of exposure to viruses.

  • Specify the risk of contact with chemicals, including detergents and disinfectants.

  • Specify potential contact with food.

  • Specify the risk of hypersensitivity or allergic reactions of type I (to latex) and/or type IV (to chemical accelerators).

  • Once the requirements have been determined, choose gloves according to the table assigned to the product range. It is important to protect not only your hands, but also wrists – for example, by wearing gloves with an extended cuff.

  • Do not forget to select the appropriate glove size for comfortable use and precision of manual handling.

Raw material

In the medical industry, the raw material used to make the gloves is particularly important, as many procedures require instruments that can mechanically damage the material. There are several types of raw materials used to manufacture gloves:

  1. Latex gloves:
    The most popular medical gloves are made of natural rubber. This durable and flexible material provides excellent protection against blood-borne pathogens and some hazardous chemicals. According to many users, these gloves are more comfortable than those made of nitrile or vinyl. Currently, 90% of the global latex production is in Asia. They are manufactured in a variety of colours to suit the needs and likes of the staff, and the style of the place where they are used.

    Latex gloves provide:
    • flexibility and softness,
    • strength and comfortable use,
    • excellent touch sensitivity, gloves feel like a “second skin”.

    The latex from which gloves are made is a natural raw material, but still carries the risk of type I allergy.

  2. Nitrile gloves:
    Nitrile, also known as acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), is a material made of organic chemical compounds. The production process of this raw material was modified so that it can compete with natural rubber. Nitrile gloves are an ideal alternative to gloves made of natural rubber.

    Nitrile gloves:
    • do not contain latex proteins – they are safe for persons allergic to latex,
    • their content of chemical vulcanisation accelerators is limited to a minimum,
    • have good barrier properties for chemicals.

    Minimised content of chemical accelerators significantly reduces the risk of type IV allergy.

  3. Vinyl gloves:
    These very durable medical gloves are made from plasticised polyvinyl chloride, the popular PVC. Vinyl provides good protection against chemicals, as well as against contamination with bodily fluids (including blood). Vinyl belongs to the group of PVC materials. Thanks to its properties, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has various applications in different industries. Vinyl gloves are skin-friendly for users prone to type I and IV allergies

  4. Plastic gloves:
    Gloves made of polyethylene provide a basic protection during low-risk work. They are a temporary barrier rather than effective protection means. Most of these gloves are approved for contact with food (PZH certification).

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