Top 9 Safety Tips


Many workplaces have hazards that endanger workers, but many of these issues are avoidable with the proper training, safety gear and protocols. Here are the top workplace risks and what may be done to avoid them:

1. Keep areas free of clutter to prevent falls

Falls are one of the most common workplace injuries and resulted in 699 fatal injuries in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of injuries where the height of the fall was reported, one in four workers fell from a height of 10 feet or less, calling attention to the risks of falls from a short height. Even in cases with no fatalities, falling to a lower level may cause serious injuries.

Falls often occur in the workplace because of cluttered areas, slippery or uneven floor surfaces, floor holes, wall openings, unprotected edges and improperly positioned ladders. Although the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Association has regulations requiring specific fall protection measures for different industries, falls may still be common due to a lack of safety culture in an organization. To avoid falls, companies should ensure all working areas are free from clutter. In addition, shoe covers with rubberized grips give workers better traction.

2. Implement a culture of safety

Understanding the unique risks at your company or in your industry helps managers create effective training. Emphasize the importance of safety so employees take it to heart. Workplace safety should be an early area of focus when new workers start at the company. Conduct regular inspections to identify anything that could become a hazard.

3. Keep emergency exits and equipment shutoffs accessible

Reducing clutter has multiple safety benefits. Not only will it reduce falls, but it also makes emergency exits more accessible. Maintaining clear access to emergency equipment shutoffs allows machinery to be turned off quickly.

4. Reduce workplace stress

Stressed out employees are more likely to be injured on the job. Long hours tire workers, making them less aware of their surroundings. Encourage workers to talk to their supervisors if they feel high levels of stress. Allow time for regular breaks so employees have a chance to recharge.

5. Lift correctly

Picking up heavy items improperly causes back injuries and chronic pain. Workers who need to lift heavy items should use proper form to avoid injury. Lift slowly and smoothly from the thighs, not the back. After picking up a heavy item, hold it close to the body. Use mechanical aids whenever possible to reduce the likelihood of back injuries.

6. Train workers on all tools and equipment

Heavy machinery introduces risks into the workplace when employees do not use equipment properly. Anyone who works with specific machinery should receive training. In addition, equipment should be regularly checked to ensure it stays in working order.

7. Report all hazards immediately

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Encourage workers to report any unsafe conditions they notice in the facility to prevent injuries. Emphasizing the culture of safety increases reporting.

8. Understand chemical hazards

Workers in many industries encounter dozens of chemicals every day. Companies need to maintain a knowledge of all the chemicals they use and understand the health effects. OSHA recommends transitioning to safer chemicals. Some compounds have alternatives that present fewer health risks to employees. Only a small number of chemicals are regulated in the workplace, and 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths are the result of chemical exposure every year, according to OSHA. Janitorial, automotive, pathology labs and other industries may be able to switch to chemicals that are less hazardous to workers and the environment.

9. Use the right personal protective equipment for the job

With risks in nearly every industry, some sectors must provide personal protective equipment for employees. All employees need to be educated on how to use PPE, and all gear should fit well and be comfortable, which encourages employees to make use of it. When it comes to disposable gloves for barrier protection, employers need to be mindful of chemical and puncture resistance, fit and latex sensitivities. All PPE should be tested before implemented across an organization. In addition to gloves, companies may need face masks, sleeves and other protective coverings.

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Not Without Gloves: Pesticides


Pesticides should always be handled with the proper barrier protection. Different formulations target various organisms, such as insects, rodents, algae, weeds and fungi. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates the use of all pesticides and requires chemicals that have been registered for many years to be reassessed to ensure they meet current standards.

Pesticides typically come in organic or inorganic solutions with an active ingredient. Although some pesticide formulas are less toxic than others, they are still hazardous to human health in high levels, and anyone handling these products must protect themselves. Here are some of the hazardous chemicals commonly found in pesticides and effective gloves for handling each:

Naphthalene
Naphthalene is made from crude oil, coal tar or created when other chemicals burn. It was the first registered pesticide in the U.S. in 1948. Because this chemical is found in mothballs, it has been shown to cause anemia in infants when the clothing was not washed prior to wear, according to the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University. It has been linked to anemia in adults as well. Although naphthalene breaks down in the environment over time, workers should wear gloves when handling pesticides that contain this chemical.

Latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves are all resistant to naphthalene. Because these types of gloves all provide protection from this chemical, it is easier for companies to accommodate people with latex sensitivities.

Paradichlorobenzene
Another common insecticide, paradichlorobenzene causes a burning sensation on the skin after prolonged contact. Nitrile gloves are recommended protection from skin exposure to this toxin.

Capsaicin
Even naturally occurring chemicals can cause harm. Capsaicin, for example, is a naturally occurring chemical that gives chili peppers their heat. It is used to deter mites, insects and animals. While it is safe for humans to eat, it may irritate the skin or eyes upon contact, especially when highly concentrated. The effects are temporary and it is considered a safer pesticide because it is a naturally occurring substance, but skin contact may cause pain. High concentrations of capsaicin may burn through latex gloves in a short time. Nitrile gloves provide greater protection from this harsh substance.

For any pesticide, it is important to know the solution’s chemical composition and then test disposal work gloves for resistance to identify safe exposure levels. Contact your AMMEX representative or contact us on our website to learn more about the right barrier protection and add gloves to your line up.

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What Your Shelves Say about Your Disposable Gloves


Did you know salespeople are not the only ones who talk to consumers about the benefits of buying disposable gloves? If not, you forget important product advocates: your displays.

Gloves will not sell themselves. Strategic displays allow you to uncover the hidden potential of the glove line to sell more products and increase your sales. The good news is AMMEX Corporation’s products and Sales Acceleration Solution® (SAS) give you the tools you need to make your shelves talk the disposable gloves talk and entice consumers to buy your products.

What you get with AMMEX products
AMMEX packaging starts a visual conversation with consumers. Not only do the glove images speak in a language every customer understands, but they also present three views:

AMMEX-What-does-your-shelves-say

  • Option A is to show the front face of the packaging to customers, which provides the largest surface area for viewing.
  • Option B is to stack the boxes with the side face pointing at the aisle, creating a display with a medium length and a short height.
  • The final view, option C, is to position the gloves with the more vertical face directed at customers, providing a shorter length but more height.

“Strategic displays allow you to increase your sales.”

How to display your glove inventory
The aforementioned configurations for displaying your gloves rely on your goals for the products and the shelf dimensions.

Here are some tips for arranging your gloves on shelving units:

  • To maximize space, use option B, as indicated on the right in the image below. Within a standard 12-foot shelving unit, this strategy allows for gloves to occupy four rows. As a result, you display more sizes across the space. However, this option provides only one view of the product. Another drawback of option B is this route presents challenges for placing barcode index numbers (BINs) on the sides of the shelves to indicate the products present. For instance, if you place four glove sizes on one shelf because you have the space, you must fit those four BINs in the same space.
  • To display both the front and one side panel of the packaging, use a combination of options A and C, as shown on the left side of the image. The trade-off here is space is sacrificed for greater visibility, but managing the BIN channel will be easier.
  • Keep in mind products at eye level attract the most customers. Consequently, it is best to place your most profitable glove products in this position. Also, consider the sizes that are more likely to sell to your customers. It is best practice to always display large and extra large gloves, and judge how many small and medium products to display based on demand.

AMMEX-Showcase-the-product

These are various options for displaying AMMEX products on your shelves.

Keeping the conversation going with shelf talkers
Now that customers have seen the product, how do you close the sale – especially when a salesperson cannot always be present? This is where your shelf talkers become integral.

Shelf talkers are materials that you display with the products to educate customers about their purchasing decision. These include the laminated chemical resistance and glove sizing chart that comes with your SAS kit. Because these items provide information on topics such as the difference between poly and vinyl gloves, you supply the details necessary to successfully convert a sale without having a glove expert in the area at all times.

Also, consider zip tying glove samples from your SAS kit to the shelf or leaving a master bag near the products. This gives customers an interactive shopping experience where they truly feel the difference between the many glove types. Plus, this tactic helps reduce shrinkage by eliminating the need for customers to open boxes to feel the glove materials.

Maximizing your sales
None of the aforementioned tips work if you do not use them effectively. When choosing between options A, B and C, the key to boosting sales is to select a glove assortment and product layout that caters to your customers. For instance, if your shelf space accommodates only a 1-foot configuration (the top row in the image), do not overload that space with small latex gloves if your business mostly services auto technicians who need the chemical protection of nitrile gloves and have larger hands.

Another consideration is where you put the gloves display in the store. To keep customers from having an ah-ha moment at home about a product they should have purchased at your store, put different glove types next to accompanying items in your store. In hardware and paint stores, for example, 90 percent of the products pair well with nitrile gloves. By placing these gloves with related products, you ensure customers get everything they need in one trip. Clip strips and glove project packs (pictured on the left in the above image) are perfect for this task.

Any vendor can sell you gloves. AMMEX is here to help you sell more. Contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to get started on becoming a distributor.

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Not without Gloves: Lacquer and Paint Thinners


Lacquer and paint thinners are harsh solvents that should not be handled without the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). This is because these substances, which are used in the construction, automotive, retail and maritime industries, present several health risks when they are not handled safely.

If certain workers use paint and lacquer thinners without gloves, they may experience dermatitis, skin irritation and numbness in the areas that come in in contact with the solvents. With repeated exposure to the chemicals, the side effects become more severe, ranging from liver disease to an increased risk of cancer, as indicated by material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for these solvents.

With these hazards in mind, always consider the following PPE for safe handling of paint and lacquer thinners:

The importance of disposable gloves
Disposable gloves protect workers’ hands while they use paint and lacquer thinners.

Nitrile gloves are perfect for handling these substances because they stand up to the specific chemicals that are typically found in these solvents. This is because they are made from a petroleum-based synthetic material that is designed to provide chemical resistance. According to an MSDS from GC Electronics, its paint thinner contains a mixture of toluene and hydrotreated naphtha – about 40-50 percent of each. Based on these chemicals, the data sheet recommended nitrile gloves for use because the material is resistant to this mixture.

Lacquer thinner, which has a higher solvency than paint thinner and is therefore a harsher substance, often contains chemicals such as methanol and hexane. Nitrile also provides sufficient resistance to these and other ingredients commonly found in lacquer thinners.

Workers should keep in mind the permeation times for each chemical in these solvents in relation to nitrile. For instance, the naphtha in a mixture will not wear down a nitrile glove quickly, but the permeation time could decrease if the solvent contains methyl ethyl ketone, which is not recommended for use with nitrile gloves. This chemical clearly degrades the glove material. Latex gloves are a better option for handling thinners with methyl ethyl ketone but for only a limited duration per glove pair.

Face masks
Paint and lacquer thinners can be used with spray applicators. Also, they are often present in lacquers and paint to thin those coatings for use with a spray applicator. To reduce the inhalation risk, workers should don N-95-rated face masks. These products will prevent individuals from directly inhaling the solvents during the spraying process. It is important to note face masks address the risk of particles from the spray solutions entering the nose and mouth but do not filter vapors. Depending on the compounds being sprayed, a respirator mask is appropriate for more dangerous chemical use.

The importance of on-site testing and glove changes
When selecting PPE for handling any chemical, it is important to conduct on-site testing. This is particularly true of paint and lacquer thinners, as chemical mixtures for these substances vary by manufacturer. Testing allows workers to have a more accurate picture of permeation times and degradation, which provides a better idea of how often workers must change gloves and which material works best based on the task.

The chemical being sprayed will set the tone for the best glove choice. The GlovePlus HD Heavy Duty Nitrile Exam Gloves are the most commonly used gloves for lacquer and paint thinners.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our series, which will cover the best PPE for salons.

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Avoid Kinks in the Supply Chain with AMMEX


When you place an order with your disposable glove vendor, do you get everything in one shipment? During a busy season, waiting on products on backorder is not good for business, especially if you do not want to lose customers to the competition.

Partnering with AMMEX Corporation, getting the supply you need at the right time is not something you will worry about. We use top-notch supply chain management strategies to ensure your complete order arrives on time.

Understanding fill rate and accuracy
One metric that impacts the supply chain is fill rate. This percentage refers to the ratio of demand compared to the available supply. In other words, when you place an order, how much of that purchase does a vendor have waiting in its inventory to ship to you? Additionally, this refers to a single shipment, so items on backorder affect fill rate.

“AMMEX has a 99.8 percent shipping accuracy.”

Order accuracy is also integral supply chain management. Not only should customers receive 99.8 percent of their purchased items, but they also must receive exactly what they requested. Accuracy errors occur at various stages of the supply chain, which is why the formula for a perfect order accounts for warehousing, procurement, transportation and other stages.

Giving customers the products they want
Disposable gloves are a commodity and need-based product, which means they come with certain expectations. As indicated in John Warrillow’s book “The Automatic Customer,” you as a distributor do not want to deal with unnecessary hassles when maintaining your inventory. You expect all products to arrive at the same time and in a consistent quantity and quality to meet your projected demand. In turn, your customers want these products to be available when they need them. If all goes to plan, this process is a well-oiled machine that requires little attention.

However, if you are working with a vendor with a low fill rate and a overall order accuracy, the process is less harmonious. While you chase down shipments, your customers walk out the door to find another distributor with the products they need. Over time, you may consider the same action with your vendor.

“Shipping accuracy accounts for procurement, warehousing and other stages of the supply chain.”

Getting a worry-free experience with AMMEX
We at AMMEX understand how disruptions in our supply chain would impact your ability to ship orders to your customers on time. This is why one of our four key ideologies is to be consistent in our products and processes.

All of this is possible through proper forecasting. We are poised for significant growth in 2015 and beyond, and we factor that expansion into our supply chain management. This includes accounting for the growth our distributors experience while partnering with us, as well as creating ample room for successful delivery with a four-month lead time for our products, especially gloves.

One element that helps us with our forecasting is the shipping accuracy. While the industrial average is 99.6 percent for orders that are shipped out, AMMEX exceeds that figure at 99.8 percent.

Any vendor can sell you gloves. AMMEX is here to help you sell more and keep your inventory fully stocked. Contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to get started on becoming a distributor.

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Millimeters to Grams: Change in the Glove Industry


How can you be sure you are choosing the right gloves for the job? Currently, glove performance is measured with millimeter thickness. However, this measurement is not the most accurate due to variations in thickness across a single glove. Disposable gloves are thickest in the fingertips and thinnest in the wrists due to how they are dipped in the manufacturing process.

Thickness measurements in millimeters have the potential to vary based on which part of the glove is measured, which is frequently the palm. The glove industry is transitioning to measuring gloves by weight in grams rather than in millimeters. Gram weight circumvents the variations in thickness across a single glove. With this shift, the terminology will change as well. Rather than labeling gloves as thin, manufacturers will refer to them by their weight or use – such as lightweight or heavy duty.

When did the glove industry start the shift?
Around 2006, lighter weight gloves were introduced for the first time, but they were not well received because the original formulation of the gloves did not provide sufficient barrier protection. In 2009, lightweight gloves with a new formulation were reintroduced, offering more options for clients. Because of changes in technology, lightweight gloves have become more popular, with even 2 mil gloves being acceptable for some uses.

Difference between millimeters and grams
Gloves need to provide barrier protection for the hand. The move to gram measurements would help standardize quality in the glove industry, although gram weight has not been transitioned to the end user yet. It will also provide clearer guidance for glove purchasing decisions because certain weights may be better suited for specific purposes than others. The current standard is 3 mil and premium gloves are 5 mil or higher, but they will need to be measured at the wrist, fingertips and palm. With an allowable 0.3 gram variation in either direction, weight provides a more accurate measurement of gloves. Gram weight also is a more accurate reflection of the amount of material used in a glove and requires only a simple digital scale rather than the use of specific tools, such as a micrometer.

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Making the Grade: Posting Food Safety Scores


Consumers have become more concerned about what is in their food and how those products move from farm to table, and government regulators and restaurants around the world have stepped up to keep the public more informed about food safety. This trend is evident through posted food safety scores, which are becoming more visible to consumers.

The public wants to be in the know
Many of today’s consumers are cautious about the steps taken to process and serve their food. Food safety is of growing importance as indicated by widespread protests over genetically modified organisms, calls for improved labeling to detail nutrition facts and the public’s penchant for reading research about food processing to become savvier consumers.

“Food safety scores are becoming more visible to consumers.”

At the restaurant level, establishments are providing the details of their food safety inspections. Not only are consumers happy to have this information, they want to see comprehensive scores. In fact, a crowdfunded study commissioned by Dine Safe King County and conducted by researchers from the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design Department showed consumers want more than an overall pass/fail rating – they desire to see an itemized list of where restaurants are missing the mark.

With this trend in mind, how have regulators and members of food service industry responded?

How inspectors score restaurants
Local health departments assign food safety scores in various ways. These ratings are numerical, pass/fail or denoted with a letter-based grade. New York City, for example, evaluates restaurants using a points system, and point ranges correspond to a letter grade. Each violation accumulates more points, so to earn a passing grade, restaurants want as few points as possible.

To be transparent about these ratings, restaurants publish their scores. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted this includes posting the score or the entire report in the establishments.

Lawmakers in San Mateo County, California, implemented a new program to make these posted ratings easier for consumers to understand. This program will color code the score placards to match traffic signals: green means a restaurant passed, yellow indicates a conditional pass and red denotes a closed restaurant.

 

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Chemical Resistance in Disposable Gloves


When working with certain abrasive chemicals, you need to understand the chemical resistance in disposable gloves and the protection that particular glove materials offer. In addition, length of exposure, conditions and chemical concentration impact the performance of the glove.

Consider degradation and breakthrough time
Gloves are rated on how well they withstand exposure to a certain chemical. Though there is not a standardized test, strength is typically scored by exposing the material to a test chemical. As a glove degrades, it may swell, wrinkle, get stiff or change color. In general, degradation determines whether a glove material is a good fit for a specific application.

In addition to degradation, gloves must be tested for permeation and breakthrough time if a chemical causes specific degradation to latex, nitrile or vinyl. Breakthrough time is the length of time between the initial contact with a chemical and when residue is detected on the inner side of the glove, which indicates how long workers are able to safely where the glove for barrier protection. Permeation is the way a chemical passes through a material on a molecular level without entering through the gloves’ pores, pinholes or other visible openings.

“Nitrile gloves have superior chemical resistance against common chemicals as well as many specialty chemicals, such as water treatment chemicals or industrial cleaning compounds.”

Understanding the conditions of glove use
With any type of glove, the length of exposure and concentration of the chemical may determine how resistant it is. For any intended use, it’s crucial to do on-site testing with any gloves so workers know how to protect themselves, especially if the facility uses chemical mixtures. Gloves are often tested for resistance to one chemical, but they may not be rated against specific mixtures.

For instance, AMMEX Gloveworks Latex Gloves offer barrier protection for food service, health care, dentistry, janitorial and industrial applications. Latex gloves offer secure protection against a variety of chemicals, but latex breaks down over time with continued exposure to certain chemicals, such as ethyl acetate, paint remover and rubber solvent. Latex is resistant to acetone, which may make these gloves a good fit for nail salons, especially compared to other materials.

Nitrile gloves may be better suited for automotive applications because they are more resistant to many of the chemicals used in this type of work such as gasoline and brake fluid. However, for any glove choice, it’s crucial to consider the resistance to specific chemicals that are used on the job.

Distributors who would like to learn more about available product materials, thicknesses and sizes to meet their needs should speak with their AMMEX sales representative or contact us on our website for more information.

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All about Allergies: Part 2 Synthetics


Natural rubber latex disposable gloves typically get most of the attention when it comes to allergies, but allergic reactions are also possible with synthetic glove materials like nitrile butadiene rubber and polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). While allergies to these materials themselves are uncommon, the chemicals used in the production processes are common causes.

During the production of nitrile and vinyl gloves, manufacturers use various substances to turn the base ingredients into the final glove materials. These chemicals are in both the process to form the actual PVC and nitrile and to turn these materials into gloves.

To create vinyl, for example, petroleum is used in the manufacturing process. Petroleum is used to create naphtha, which is combined with other chemicals to form ethylene. The ethylene is combined with chlorine, and through two more transformations, this combination becomes polyvinyl chloride.

Allergy tiggers
With latex gloves, the allergic reactions usually stem from the proteins in the latex. With synthetics, the issue lies with the petroleum. While rare, petroleum allergies do occur in some individuals.

As a result of contact with the glove materials, individuals with petroleum allergies experience contact dermatitis, which may lead to skin irritation, hives, redness and blistering in more extreme cases. Respiratory effects, such as throat itching, coughing and wheezing, appear with allergic reactions to petroleum gas but not commonly with petroleum-based gloves.

“If certain individuals wear a glove that is too-tight, the skin will not be able to breathe inside the glove which may cause an irritation.”

Acknowledging indirect causes of irritation
Although petroleum allergies are rare, some nitrile and vinyl glove wearers will experience contact dermatitis. However, this reaction does not always occur because of the glove materials.

One common issue is an irritative substance on the hands. Certain substances, such as residual hand soap or a scented lotion, will not cause too much of a problem on an exposed hand, but the associated reaction to it will be more pronounced in some individuals when they have a glove pressing the substance to their skin.

This issue is more evident when a glove is too small. Overall, too-tight gloves create irritation and discomfort as the skin is unable to breathe inside the glove.

Key points about glove material allergies
Whether it is latex, nitrile or vinyl, glove users must ensure they have the right gloves for the job. This applies to selecting the right material for the application as well as the appropriate size.

Additionally, as individuals and employers attempt to accommodate allergies, they must also consider how the alternative glove materials will fare in their work environments.  For a wide variety of glove options ranging in material, thickness, and sizing contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to learn more.

AMMEXAll about Allergies: Part 2 Synthetics
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High Visibility Sales Results with Orange Nitrile!


The first thing you will most likely notice about Gloveworks Heavy Duty Orange Nitrile Gloves is their bright, unique color. Although AMMEX Corporation is well-known for black nitrile gloves, orange nitrile gloves bring something new to the table and are perfect for agricultural, automotive, industrial safety and manufacturing applications, among many others.

Why should you go orange?
Orange nitrile gloves do not just look unique; the color stands out so you are more aware of where you hands are at all times, making them an excellent part of a personal protective equipment (PPE) or high-visibility program. The contrast of the color with dark environments makes workers less likely to be injured. The bright orange stands out against dim work areas, such as industrial environments, garages and under the hoods of vehicles.

Successful PPE programs require collaboration between employers and employees to conduct hazard assessments in their workplaces and minimize risks. Employees must be trained to be aware of hazards and properly wear PPE. Protective gear that is comfortable and easy to don makes employees more likely to utilize it. The orange nitrile gloves have a beaded cuff to prevent ripping and tearing at the base, which makes them easier to put on. In addition, the texture and durability of these gloves do not interfere with the comfort. Nitrile gloves conform to the hands as they are warmed with body heat and are more elastic than vinyl, making them more comfortable for longer use.

“Orange nitrile gloves stand out in dark work environments.”

Other features that will make you want to go orange
The raised diamond texture of the orange nitrile gloves gives them a superior grip. In addition, they are thicker for better durability, which makes them three times as resistant to punctures as latex. Plus, the added thickness increases the gloves’ resistance to harsh chemicals. Wearers are able to safely work with iodine, butane and pesticides for longer without having to change gloves. This helps you save money by using fewer gloves. The bright color also means no more lost gloves in the dark. In addition, the orange matches other brightly colored protective equipment.

Our Gloveworks Heavy Duty Orange Nitrile Gloves are available in sizes medium to extra extra large and measure 9.5 inches from base to fingertip. They are sold in boxes of 100 gloves with 10 boxes to a case.

Contact your AMMEX representative or contact us on our website to add these gloves to your product line. If you would like to become a distributor, contact us for more information.

AMMEXHigh Visibility Sales Results with Orange Nitrile!
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