Disposable Gloves – Which Ones Offer the Best Hand Protection?

Hands up: who was under the impression that disposable gloves are all made equal? It’s a common misconception. There are a wide range of disposable gloves on the market, that all offer a variety of benefits and levels of protection for the wearer. In this handy blog post we digest the disposable gloves available to you and offer insights into what might be the best-fit option for your staff and line of work.

Globally, disposable gloves have become a firm business staple, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hand protection and personal hygiene are important factors for a healthy working environment in many industries. Disposable gloves are readily employed in infection prevention and protection from harm in more hazardous working environments.
But disposable gloves are not all created equal. They must meet thickness, finish, barrier protection, tensile strength, elasticity, and puncture resistance requirements, and the most cost-efficient glove isn’t always going to be the most safe. With the market so saturated, how do you know which ones are going to give you and your team the best protection?

That’s where we come in.

Vinyl Gloves

A food industry favourite, vinyl gloves are a popular option for working environments where higher levels of durability and protection aren’t always a high priority. Vinyl gloves are designed to be frequently changed and replaced. They’re latex-free (great for those with allergies) and provide a looser fit. Perfect for short-term, risk-free tasks.

Who uses them?
  • Those in food preparation, caterers and hospitality sectors. Vinyl gloves are also used in industrial facilities when work is light touch, and doesn’t pose a high risk to the wearer (no harsh chemicals or dangerous machinery).

What are the benefits?
  • The most economic option, designed to be changed regularly, allowing moderate protection in low-risk environments without breaking the bank.

Which industries?
  • Food service, hospitality, cleaning, restaurants and where appropriate in industrial workplaces such as construction and automotive.

Latex Gloves

Derived from natural rubbers that come from Hevea Brasiliensis trees (commonly known as Rubber Trees). A tree tapping process provides the latex that these gloves are made from. This means they’re understood to biodegrade at a faster rate than other glove types—a win for the environment. Latex gloves are comfortable with a good amount of stretch. They’re often described as fitting like a second skin which allows them to be worn for long periods of time without causing the wearer discomfort. Latex gloves are reasonably cost effective for businesses, however, they aren’t suitable for anyone with a latex allergy and this must be taken into consideration by business owners.

Further benefits of latex gloves include providing an effective barrier against irritating substances such as bleaches, dyes and chemicals, and are mostly used in industries where prolonged, highly tactile work is required. Close fit to hands means no bulges, folds or loose bits of glove to get in the way of the wearer.

Who uses them?
  • Carers and anyone working in a medical profession, beauty professionals, tattooists, and hairdressers.

What are the benefits?
  • Long wear, highly elasticated and comfortable for the wearer with strong protection against harsh chemicals.

Which industries?
  • Beauty, cosmetics, healthcare, hygiene, laboratories and medical environments. Latex gloves are not advised in food handling industries due to potential customer and glove user allergies.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are made from a mixture of man-made components, meaning the risk of allergic reaction is far lower than other glove types. These gloves offer a superior level of protection to the wearer, boasting puncture resistance, dexterity, flexibly and stretchiness. Additionally, Nitrile gloves come in powder-free and cut-resistant variations. This makes the nitrile glove popular for industries where sharp objects are a present risk, as well as practical use in food prep, garages and workshops.

Who uses them?
  • Medical professionals, hospitality workers and beauty industry professionals including hairdressers and tattooists. Mechanics and farmers also find great protection from the nitrile glove.

What are the benefits?
  • Avoid allergies with the latex-free nitrile glove, which is also puncture resistant. They mould to hands for a great fit, providing a comfort that allows for long wear in high risk situations, and protect the wearer from infectious materials.

Which industries?
  • Healthcare, aged-care, cosmetics, workshops, heavy industrial environments, meat processing and animal handling.

We only have two hands, it’s important we care for them the best we can. Hand protection isn’t somewhere to cut corners. Take the time to fully understand the needs of your team and provide them with the best protection for their activities. Always check with your team for any potential allergies.

Reminder: all disposable gloves have a shelf life. Check individual boxes for use by dates and work out a rotation pattern to ensure boxes of gloves don’t go to waste. For access to New Zealand’s largest stock range of disposable gloves, give a Bastion rep a call on 0800 864 725 or contact us here.

Date Added: Friday, 22nd July 2022


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