Monday, December 19, 2011

When Should I Wear Gloves?

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  If your weekend wasn't so great, at least keep in mind that the Packers lost and they can no longer lay claim to having a perfect season.  Had they run the table, gone undefeated and won the Super Bowl, we Bears fans would have NEVER heard the end of it. 

Now for a little glove discussion.  When should I wear gloves and does the type of glove matter?  There are several tasks that employees perform that require gloves.  Lets start with hand & finger laceration protection.  I.D.I. has a policy in place that requires carpenter/framers and all employees that are handling or working around sharp objects to wear gloves.  This policy is mainly in place to reduce the laceration risk of employees working with metal track & studs.  This applies mainly to our framers and delivery drivers.  I.D.I. put this policy in place in February 2010 and we have since had a dramatic reduction in hand and finger lacerations.  As a matter of fact, since February 2010, we have had only 1 framer sustain a laceration on his hand and he was not wearing gloves when the incident occured.  I.D.I. supplies a cotton Jersey type glove to our employees to use for this purpose.  Employees installing insulation are also required to wear gloves.  The main reason for this policy is because the M.S.D.S. (Material Safety Data Sheet) calls for gloves to be worn when handling insulation.  For the common fiberglass insulation batts, the cotton gloves work very well.  If you are installing Thermafiber type insulation, we require the nitrile coated gloves (rubber dipped type) to be worn as they are impermeable to the small granules and fibers that come with this type of insulation.  Prior to requiring the nitrile coated gloves to be worn for Thermafiber insulation handling, we had 2 employees sustain infections from the granules getting embedded in their hand and/or fingers.  Since we put the nitrile coated glove policy in place, we have had no further infection problems develop from the Thermafiber insulation.  Another task that requires gloves are when an employee is working with a corrosive material such as a corrosive paint that can burn their skin.  We supply and require a PVC coated type glove for this application.  The PVC coated gloves that we supply are usually black in color and are a rubberized type of glove that runs about half way up the forearm.

Please keep in mind that there are other times that gloves are required.  The above mentioned scenarios are when I.D.I. does require gloves.  It is diffucult for an employer to name every situation where a glove would be required.  It is important that employees read the M.S.D.S. sheets for the products being used as they will tell you if a glove is required and the type of glove required.  Also, think about the task you are performing and if there is a chance you can injure your hand or fingers, think about the type of glove that would protect you and ask for a pair. 

If you have any questions about gloves or our gloves policies, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham.  You can e-mail him at and I believe that everyone has his phone number.

Thank you and have a Safe Day!