EHS Safety Training Home Page
   

Introduction

Introduction

Eye Protection

Eye Protection

Clothing

Clothing

Aprons

Aprons

Gloves

Gloves

Respirators

Respirators

Quiz

Quiz

Back to Modules

Back to Training Modules


GloveGloves

 

When handling chemicals, it is recommended that the correct gloves be used to protect the worker from accidental spills or contamination. If the gloves become contaminated they should be removed and discarded as soon as possible. There is no glove currently available that will protect a worker against all chemicals. An experienced Dartmouth researcher recently died because of this.

Protection of the hands when working with solvents, detergents, or any hazardous material is essential in the defense of the body against contamination. Exposure of the hands to a potentially hazardous chemical could result in burns, chafing of the skin due to extraction of essential oils ("de-fatting"), or dermatitis. The skin could also become sensitized to the chemical and once sensitized, could react to lesser quantities of chemicals than otherwise would have any effect. It is well documented that primary skin irritations and sensitizations account for significantly greater numbers of lost time incidents on the job than any other single type of industrial injury.

Choose gloves based on the specific job

Proper selection of the glove material is essential to the performance of the glove as a barrier to chemicals. Several properties of both the glove material and the chemical with which it is to be used should influence the choice of the glove. Some of these properties include: permeability of the glove material, breakthrough time of the chemical, temperature of the chemical, thickness of the glove material, and the amount of the chemical that can be absorbed by the glove material (solubility effect). Glove materials vary widely in respect to these properties; for instance, neoprene is good for protection against most common oils, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and certain other solvents, but is unsatisfactory for use against aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, ketones, and many other solvents.

Gloves of various types are available and should be chosen for each specific job for compatibility and breakthrough characteristics. An excellent information is Guidelines for the Selection of Chemical Protective Clothing published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) or information provided by glove manufacturers.

  1. Selection

    For concentrated acids and alkalis, and organic solvents, natural rubber, neoprene or nitrile gloves are recommended. For handling hot objects, gloves made of heat-resistant materials (leather or Nomex) should be available and kept near the vicinity of ovens or muffle furnaces. A hot object should never be picked up with rubber or plastic gloves. Special insulated gloves should be worn when handling very cold objects such as liquid N2 or CO2. Do not use asbestos containing gloves.

    Here are three links to chemical resistance guides available on the web:
    (Note: To get back to this page, you will need to hit your "back" button.)

    OSU's Chemical Guide and Permeation Tables
    Glove Chemical Resistance Guide (Univ. Maryland, Baltimore)
    Glove Chemical Resistance Guide (Best Manufacturing)
    Glove Chemical Resistance and Barrier Guide (Safeskin)

  2. Inspection

    Before each use, gloves should be inspected for discoloration, punctures, and tears. Rubber and plastic gloves may be checked by inflating with air and submersing them in water to check for air bubbles.
  3. Usage

    Gloves should always be rinsed with a compatible solvent, soap and water prior to handling wash bottles or other laboratory fixtures.
  4. Cleaning

    Before removal, gloves should be thoroughly washed, either with tap water or soap and water.
  5. Removal

    Employees shall remove gloves before leaving the immediate work site to prevent contamination of door knobs, light switches, telephones, etc. When gloves are removed, pull the cuff over the hand.

Eye Protection

Clothing

Aprons--Rubber or Plastic?

Gloves

Next: Respirators Respirators

Quiz

 

 

  Contact EHS