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With so many options on the market, Tomorrow’s FM asked Globus, a world leader in protecting hands to point FMs in the right direction for gloves.

Facilities managers across many industrial or commercial sectors may be in charge of their employees’ health and safety when carrying out day-to-day functions. Whether this is maintenance, cleaning, external works or catering, it is important that employees wear gloves where necessary to protect both themselves and the business.

Naturally, gloves should be properly fitted and good quality, following the hand's natural contours to reduce stress against the thumb and fingers. A pair which is too large can create folds affecting work, which may induce their removal. They need to be comfortable and allow dexterity to perform various functions. A flexible, robust glove should also facilitate good hand and wrist movement.

Gloves that are too small can restrict blood flow and movement which can motivate fatigue. A properly fitting and performing glove is less likely to be removed when performing tasks – this reduces risk and aids work flow.

There are many facilities management tasks that employees may need protection from, such as when handling cleaning chemicals, or for protection from abrasion, cuts, liquids or hot and cold temperature extremes.

Cleaners require gloves to act as a barrier between the wearer and any cleaning fluids. Facilities managers may need help to determine which chemical-resistant glove provides the optimum protection for cleaning duties. As well as good glove selection, employees need to know how to look after their gloves and know when they need replacing.

Employees can wrongly believe that they are protected simply because


they are wearing a pair of gloves. Not only does the glove have to protect against the chemical, but there is always the possibility that the barrier can be breached over the course of the working day, therefore a robust glove that is fit for purpose should be chosen.

When carrying out grounds maintenance it is important for gloves to allow users to have good grip and to help prevent branches or arboricultural waste slipping through hands while allowing dexterity to carry out cutting, pruning, chopping, clearing and other tasks. There are gloves designed to protect against weather conditions for warmth or breathable ones to allow moisture to pass through so that the hand is not left wet. When working in wet conditions, the same breathable characteristics can apply within waterproof gloves to allow hands to remain fresh and dry even if they are submerged for long periods of time.

Catering staff need hand protection to protect themselves and their customers. It’s important for food hygiene and to prevent occupational illness such as dermatitis. Employees may be at risk from thermal burns, steam from opening oven doors as well as knife cuts. The health and safety manager should assess both the tasks being undertaken, as well as the potential risks to staff and customers and match the glove choice to the task. Appropriate hand protection should be selected to offer protection as well as adhering to food handling requirements.

Latex gloves have historically been used for food handling. However, many businesses are now removing latex gloves from their processes


as latex can cause asthma, or an allergic reaction in some employees. They are also being removed to prevent latex protein contamination of the food being passed on to customers who could subsequently have an allergic reaction. Nitrile gloves could be chosen for food service applications and some will also offer protection from chemical contact when cleaning food surfaces.

There are many hand protection solutions for facilities management, no matter what the task is. As well as choosing a glove that fits well and is suitable for the task, it is important that this provides adequate grip and meets any legislative requirements. These things considered, a good choice of glove will also be robust and durable, generally saving costs in the long term.

Globus, a world leader in protecting hands, serves companies in the UK, Ireland and Middle East with bespoke solutions formed from a professional hand protection range incorporating Showa and Skytec products. Its obligation-free Hand Protection Programme is available to qualifying companies to help ensure that a comprehensive hand protection policy is put in place.

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