15 Mistakes People Might Make When Wearing Disposable Gloves8 mannequin hands in a window. each hand is wearing a different color of disposable glove

15 Mistakes People Might Make When Wearing Disposable Gloves

Wearing disposable gloves is a requirement in many industries. Using them properly is vital, especially in environments where contamination is a concern, such as in healthcare or foodservice jobs. However, many people inadvertently make mistakes when using gloves. This can compromise safety and increase the risk of sickness to both the wearer and other people around them. Below, we discuss some of the more common glove safety mistakes.

  1. Wearing the Wrong Size: Wearing gloves that are too small can cause them to tear, while gloves that are too large can decrease dexterity and increase the risk of them getting caught in machinery. In general, disposable gloves should fit snug against the skin and physically comfortable. Range of movement should not be impeded. This applies to nitrile, latex, and vinyl disposable gloves. Poly or hybrid gloves, however, have a bit of a looser fit to them, especially at the wrists. They are made for quick donning and doffing.

  2. Using the Wrong Material: Different glove materials (latex, nitrile, vinyl, etc.) are suitable for different tasks. Using the wrong material can expose the wearer to chemicals or other hazards. Check out our chemical resistance chart to see what glove material works best with your work environment.

  3. Reusing Disposable Gloves: Disposable gloves are designed for a single use and attempts to sanitize them shouldn’t be made. Reusing them can lead to cross-contamination. It also increases the risk of the gloves tearing if used longer or for more tasks than appropriate.

  4. Not Checking for Tears or Holes: Before putting on gloves, it's essential to check them for any visible damage. We work hard to ensure that our vendors supply high quality gloves, but it can be beneficial give each glove a quick scan to ensure there are no visible rips or holes.

  5. Incorrect Removal Technique: Removing gloves incorrectly can expose your bare hands to dangerous substances. It's important to be trained on the proper technique where one of your hands does not contaminate the other. Check out this blog post on how to remove your gloves correctly.

  6. Not Washing Hands Before and After: Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. Hands need to be washed before donning and after doffing gloves. Follow proper handwashing procedure each time.

  7. Not Changing Gloves Often Enough: Gloves should be changed regularly, especially if they're contaminated, damaged, or if you're moving from a dirty task to a clean one. Switching tasks while wearing the same pair of gloves leaves a lot of safety up to chance.

  8. Using Latex with Latex Allergies: People with latex allergies or sensitivities should use alternatives like nitrile or vinyl gloves. Our non-latex gloves are completely free from latex and can be worn by people with latex allergies or sensitivities.

  9. Not Storing Gloves Properly: Gloves should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures which can degrade the material. This will help ensure the gloves maximize their shelf life.

  10. Not Using Gloves When Necessary: Overfamiliarity or disregard for protocols can lead some people to skip gloves when they're essential. This is common with lots of safety procedures and practices. As you get familiar with a task, sometimes you subconsciously relax enough to let safety protocols slip. Please don’t let this happen as you become more confident in your performance of duties.

  11. Wearing Rings or Bracelets Under Gloves: Jewelry can tear gloves or become a contamination source. Bacteria and germs can also collect on/under rings and it’s harder to wash your hands thoroughly. Wearing no jewelry in a foodservice or healthcare settings is a good rule of thumb.

  12. Using Oil-based Lotions with Latex Gloves: Some lotions can degrade latex, reducing the glove's effectiveness. Products containing petroleum jelly (known under the brand name “Vaseline”) are likely to cause latex gloves to tear. This is an example of a safe product (petroleum jelly) interacting with another safe product (latex gloves) to create an unsafe reaction.

  13. Not Drying Hands Completely: Wet hands can make gloves harder to put on. The unnatural movement and unnecessary friction of trying to get gloves on wet hands can degrade some glove materials. It’s also just very uncomfortable to wear gloves over wet hands.

  14. Touching Surfaces Unnecessarily: Touching one's face, phone, or other surfaces with gloved hands can spread contaminants. We sometimes think that because our hands are more protected by gloves, we forgot about the surfaces we’re touching. For many tasks, touching one’s face or phone (for example), will require the wearer to go through the process of doffing and donning a new pair.

  15. Improper Disposal: Used gloves can be a contamination source. They should be disposed of properly, ideally in a designated waste container. They are considered medical waste in some circumstances. Learn more about that here!

Avoiding these common mistakes help ensures that gloves serve their purpose effectively, whether it's protecting the user, the environment, materials being worked with, other people, or all the above. Proper training and regular reminders can go a long way in ensuring glove safety in any setting.