How Ill-Fitting Gloves can Compromise Safety


When employers require their employees to wear disposable gloves, they must ensure the proper glove material and sizes are used. If not, workers may neglect their compliance responsibilities. Don’t let ill-fitting gloves compromise your safety, and find the right sized gloves for your application.

Why You Should Use the Proper Sized Gloves

This was one finding noted in research by Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. While examining how factory-floor workers behaved when they were being watch compared to when they were not, he discovered employees will not properly wear their sized gloves if they did not fit correctly, particularly if the gloves reduced productivity, according to Business Insider.

In some cases, employees wore only one glove or cut off the fingertips to increase their working speed. This can present health and safety risks for employees and consumers. In the food processing industry, for instance, gloves help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses such as listeria and salmonella. Additionally, gloves protect consumers against poor worker hygiene.

In the food processing industry, in particular, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, gloves are typically used. For his experiment, Bernstein noticed the glove material makes all the difference. For example, latex or nitrile gloves, which conform more closely to the hand than other glove materials, would be suitable for handling small parts.

Given the speed required in manufacturing, having the right sized gloves is essential. Consequently, employers must ensure their workers have gloves that fit properly. Incorrect sizing can reduce comfort and increase the risk of tearing. By finding the right material and following best practices for donning gloves, employers can ensure workers are adhering to procedures and protecting themselves and consumers.

If you need help finding the right sized gloves to fit your needs, check out our AMMEX Glove Size Chart.

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Growth for Global Disposable Glove Industry

A recent report by Allied Market Research has projected the global disposable glove industry is on track for large-scale growth through 2020. Let’s take a look at the forecasted future for wholesale disposable gloves.

The report forecasted the disposable glove industry will have a 6.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2014 and 2020. The Allied Market Research report projected a 12.6 percent CAGR for powder-free gloves based on a market shift away from powdered gloves. Several sectors are predicted to be the catalysts for growth, including industrial and nitrile gloves.

Nitrile disposable gloves have become popular in the auto repair industry as a more chemical-resistant and allergy-free alternative to latex. These gloves protect the skin against absorbing harsh chemicals and solvents that are common to auto shops, the California Department of Health Services Occupational Health Branch reported.

The researchers also pointed to several pandemics as the driving forces behind expanded glove use. For example, the recent Ebola outbreak has prompted demand for protective clothing, and multiple sources report the World Health Organization has suggested health workers assisting patients with Ebola don nitrile exam gloves.

Despite current international health concerns, industrial disposable gloves are expected to have the fastest growth of all segments. The report cited that food industries are key drivers of growth in this area and elaborated on the potential expansion for vinyl (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) gloves, which are used in the food processing and service industries, respectively. Disposable vinyl gloves accounted for the second-largest market share – 28 percent – in 2013.

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