Choosing the right safety gloves
Using the right personal protection equipment (PPE)—and disposing of it properly is especially important in chemical plants where workers are exposed to harsh and even dangerous chemicals.
Workers should be careful to avoid contact with chemicals as much as possible and clean up spills immediately to avoid workplace injury.
If hazardous chemicals are spilled on the safety gloves, the gloves should be discarded and replaced.
Nitrile safety gloves big on chemical protection
Nitrile gloves, also called chemical safety gloves, are the right choice when working with aliphatic hydrocarbons.
They will not deteriorate when exposed to animal fats, lubricating oils and similar products.
The nitrile chemical safety gloves also protect against water solutions of highly polar materials such as hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acids, sodium hydroxide and most salts.
But nitrile gloves are not recommended for use with medium-polar solvents such as trichloroethylene, acetone and ethyl acetate.
In some cases, workers may substitute natural rubber latex gloves.
In other cases, they may need laminate chemical safety gloves since this is the only type of hand protection that will provide sufficient chemical resistance.
Laminate gloves are also thin enough to provide the dexterity needed to handle laboratory equipment.