22 December 2021
Nitrile Work Gloves – What Are They Good For?
Nitrile (a type of rubber) gloves are resistant to oils, chemicals, and organic stains. This makes them ideal for use in commercial kitchens or farms where food is treated with pesticides and fertilizers.
There is also a low risk of them splitting or being punctured. The gloves are robust and resistant to deformation. Therefore, they are ideal for use in industries when handling; metals, oily products, or foods with high-fat content.
Although they can restrict hand movement, the gloves have high cut resistance, making them popular with chefs.
Nitrile work gloves have the following properties:
Good dexterity, which reduces hand fatigue.
High abrasion resistance, which guarantees long life.
Resistance to oils, chemicals, and organic stains. Which makes them suitable for specific production processes such as food manufacturing or chemical processing
Tear and puncture resistance, that prevents accidents during use
Properties of nitrile gloves:
Nitrile gloves have high tensile strength and a low degree of shrinkage. They are resistant to a wide range of chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, petrol, propane, etc., making them much more resistant than latex or vinyl gloves.
Nitrile gloves offer protection against blood-borne pathogens. They are also thinner than latex and vinyl gloves and provide better tactile sensitivity. People with latex allergies can use nitrile gloves because they do not contain natural rubber latex.
Nitrile is a synthetic polymer material that is considered hypoallergenic. Nitrile gloves are available in different finishes that can affect their durability.
These gloves have a delicate surface, that provides better tactile sensitivity compared to other gloves on the market.
The gloves are coated, which offers protection against vinyl or latex allergies as it is non-porous, making it more difficult for allergens to penetrate the glove. The coating reduces the risk of the gloves tearing during use but makes it more challenging to put on. This coating also provides a better grip than smooth nitrile gloves as it increases the friction between the hand and the object.
Nitrile gloves are recommended for lifting heavy objects or for jobs that require better control over more minor things, such as repairing electrical fittings.
Criticism of nitrile gloves
Although nitrile gloves are popular in the food industry, they are also criticized for restricting skill due to their smooth surface. This can make them challenging to work with when handling smaller objects or thin wires.
The lack of grip makes it challenging to handle slippery items such as eggs or cheese compared to cotton or leather gloves, which offer a better grip.
Workers using nitrile gloves must take extra care when working with fragile materials and when wet.
Another disadvantage is that this type of work glove is not puncture-resistant. They have a lower cut resistance than other types of protective clothing and should therefore not be used when working with sharp objects or knives.
Nitrile gloves can be used in the following work situations:
In food establishments, when handling meat and cheese where dexterity is an essential factor. They are also suitable for holding wet hands, for example, when preparing vegetables or removing ice from surfaces.
Chemical processing plants. Nitrile gloves protect workers from various chemicals and organic substances such as oils and greases that they may contact when cleaning machinery or production lines.
Hospitals. This type of glove is preferred by hospital staff as it is puncture-resistant and carries a low risk of latex allergies, even if accidentally torn during use. It protects against blood-borne and body fluid-borne diseases, making it ideal for medical staff, including nurses.
Petroleum industry. This type of glove is used in the petroleum or gas industry to protect workers when delivering petrol, chemical substances, and oils. It protects against chemicals found in these industries, such as hydrocarbons.
Industrial cleaning. Nitrile gloves are used because they are more puncture-resistant than latex or vinyl gloves, making them suitable for handling sharp objects or tools, such as knives. They also offer better tactile sensitivity when compared to other protective clothing materials.
The material is synthetic and therefore non-porous, which prevents allergens from entering the glove during use and thus offers protection against latex allergies.