The use of chemical protective gloves is one of the most common mechanisms used to prevent skin contact with hazardous chemicals. When you provide gloves to the workforce for use, you also need to provide training in how to use them. This might sound a bit silly (I mean how hard is it to put on a pair of gloves?), but there are actually a lot of things that can go wrong when there is just a thin piece of material between you and a hazardous substance. Two common things that I see happen include failing to inspect them before putting them on and/or getting the hazardous substance on your skin whilst they are being taken off.
For example, take a look at the gloves in the photo below. One has the cuffs stuck together (granted you probably would have figured that one out without an inspection!), one has faulty cuff moulding, and one has a puncture hole in it. These were fresh out of the manufacturers box, so it pays to inspect them before putting them on.
While I was at the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK, I asked the expert Martin Roff, for his advice on the correct way to take your gloves off. Martin was kind enough to share the video below, where he demonstrates the correct method verses a common method used to take gloves off (known as “doffing”). He uses a fluorescent tracer under UV light so you can see how ineffective the common method is. I also couldn’t resist putting a backing track on it…everything sounds cooler with rock music behind it 🙂
So if you ever have trouble convincing people the correct way to remove their gloves, why don’t you try showing them this video? Thanks Martin!
Disclaimer: The above video was provided by Martin Roff as his personal “unofficial method”, and not one that is endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive. He is a #hygienegod though, so he knows what he is talking about!