For home use gloves are only recommended for those cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. In most other situations, like running errands or shopping, gloves are not necessary and in fact, when not used properly, can spread germs more so than if you were not wearing gloves at all.
In the workplace however, gloves are sometimes a necessity and often a requirement. So which gloves should you choose to keep yourself and your staff safe?
Disposable, medical-grade gloves are the recommended types of gloves to use for COVID-19 protection both in the workplace and when cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. Medical grade gloves are made from polymers such as latex, vinyl, or nitrile. All offer a level of protection to the wearer if used properly; however, choosing which type depends both on personal preference, as well as the environment in which they are being worn. Depending on their application, some people prefer the looser fit of the vinyl gloves, while others lean to the “second skin” feel of the latex or nitrile.
Vinyl gloves are made from synthetic materials. They are the least expensive latex-free gloves and show the lowest allergy rate. Vinyl gloves offer excellent protection in low risk applications, but because they can puncture and tear more easily, they are not recommended for jobs that have potential high transmission rates (i.e. medical facilities).
Latex gloves are made of natural rubber. They are the most widely used gloves since they provide the best elasticity, fit and overall comfort. Latex gloves offer excellent protection against bacteria and viruses; however, they are not the best choice for use with many chemicals and petroleum-based products. Additionally, nearly 1 in 6 people have a latex allergy and cannot use latex gloves.
Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber and are the top choice for many individuals, due to their durability and their low allergy rate. They work well for high-risk situations involving infectious materials. Nitrile gloves are also an excellent choice for long-term wear applications such as in factories or in warehouses.
It’s super important to offer multiple sizes to your employees, because one size does not fit all! Proper fit is critical, as is frequent glove changing. And remember to have plenty of soap on-hand so employees thoroughly wash their hands before and after wearing gloves.
Reach out and let’s find the right fit for you! For more details about CDC glove guidelines, click here.