Janitorial and sanitation workers face daily risks as they work with harsh chemicals and in hazardous environments.
The first hazard comes from cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, nitrilotriacetate, and phosphoric acid. The second comes from bloodborne pathogens in the environment that can transmit infections via contact with body fluids.
Considering these risks, workers in the jan/san industry need a protective barrier to safeguard themselves. Safety gloves are the first line of defense for janitorial employees who work in unsafe environments.
But for effective use, they require frequent glove changes when switching tasks. For instance, if they’re cleaning toilets in a bathroom, they must change their gloves after completing the task or risk spreading germs and chemicals to other areas.
With these considerations in mind, let’s take a look at the best disposable gloves for janitorial and sanitation workers:
Janitorial workers widely use polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, gloves as they are inexpensive, and have several variants. They can withstand most of the harsh chemicals found in cleaning products, but on-site testing is recommended before any glove use.
Vinyl gloves come in powdered and powder-free versions, as well as options in standard, exam-grade, or industrial-grade. Users can determine which option works best for them, depending on the level of protection required. For example, exam-grade gloves are suitable for medical settings and applications where exposure to harmful bodily fluid is probable.
In general, latex gloves provide the best protection against bacteria and viruses. They are made with natural rubber and offer the greatest comfort, flexibility, and fit. As a result, they are used in applications that require high tactile sensitivity.
In recent years, however, health professionals are advising against the use of latex gloves as the material is known to cause skin allergies in some cases.
Nitrile gloves are made of synthetic material and provide excellent protection against chemicals and viruses. They are more durable and puncture-resistant compared to the other two and work best in applications that require more cumbersome tasks.
Nitrile gloves also come in a lightweight option that provides adequate protection against chemicals and bacteria. They aren’t as durable as the standard version but extremely useful in applications that require frequent glove changing.
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