Choosing glove materials and assessing permeation performance

The most common causes of occupational dermatitis, according to the HSE — as reported by dermatologists and occupational physicians under The Health and Occupation Research Network (THOR) — are wet work (25% of total), soaps and cleaners (24%), rubber chemicals and materials (16%). Comfort and usability increase the likelihood of people wearing protection; manufacturers are always improving the anatomical design of their gloves. They are also working on levels of grip, for example by developing different surface finishes on the exterior of some gloves, such as dip rough, textured palm and crinkle finish. They produce reference charts to help select the right gloves based on accurate and detailed information about a huge range of chemicals, and illustrating appropriate breakthrough times for different materials. «Education and reinforcement are also crucial, says John Thorne as he talks comfort, protection and permeation performance from gloves».

Source: John Thorne, PPE: hand in glove. Health and safety at work, 04 October 2012.

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