With the continued development of safety regulations regarding COVID-19 and PPE, it’s becoming more common to see people wearing disposable gloves in certain situations. However, when it comes to your business, staff and clients, there is all sorts of information to go by. As such, the services you provide or products you sell may have an impact of whether or not you and your staff need to wear nitrile, latex or vinyl gloves.
Should I use them?
As taken from the ECDC (European Centenaries for Disease Prevention and Control):
However, if you work in a medical environment:
Beauticians, tattoo parlours, nail bars, hairdressers and other close proximity services may have differing regulations due to the nature of their work. If you cook food, serve food, or handle food (in a shop, restaurant etc) then washing your hands regularly, using sanitiser and cleaning surfaces still remains the most successful method of control.
Always check the regulations from your industries regulation body (if there is one).
Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl
There are currently a large number of gloves available to you, however the most common are standard latex gloves (usually worn in medical settings) or nitrile gloves (sometimes used in medical settings, but also in garages, or mechanics settings). As mentioned above, your use of gloves in the workplace will vary depending on the services you provide, products you handle or the types of clients you see.
The table below gives and simple view of the standard types and their benefits. It should be noted that when companies use the term “Non-Latex”, they are usually referring to Nitrile or Vinyl gloves as these do not contain latex, and can be work by those with allergies (The table below was taken from Avacare’s fantastic blog post about:
Powder vs Non-Powder
Powder-free gloves are sometimes more expensive due to the process of removing the powder during manufacture – however they are ideal for reducing allergic reactions, and have lower protein and chemical content. They also leave less residue. Should you decide on using powder-free gloves then you will also need to decide if you want them chlorinated or non-chlorinated. Chlorinated means they are treated with chlorine to make them easier to put on (if you have allergies to chlorine then they are not advised). They also have a shorter shelf life – meaning they break down faster, leaving less waste. Non-Chlorinated are treated with a type of gel instead, but are not as easy to put on, and are closer in colour to standard medical gloves.
Powdered gloves are usually lubricated with cornstarch, which makes them much easier to put on. Cornstarch coatings have replaced other powdering options such as lycopodium powder and talc because these other coating types have been found to irritate tissue. Nevertheless, even cornstarch can impede healing when coming into contact with tissues, so powder-free gloves are often preferred for surgeries and other sensitive procedures.