Choosing the right gloves - Example 1: a hairdressing salon

Identify the substances handled

Staff at the salon shampoo client's hair frequently during the day, so they carry out 'wet work'. They also use a range of products including peroxides, perms, colours, hairsprays and mousses. A quick look at the product safety data sheets shows that gloves are recommended for use with the products and that these should be made of nitrile or vinyl.

Identify all other hazard

For the tasks where gloves need to be worn there are no other hazards to hands present.

Consider the type and duration of contact

Stylist's hands are immersed in shampoo and water when they shampoo a client's hair but, for perming, bleaching and colouring, contact is from splashing and is accidental. Staff will need to wear gloves intermittently during the work day.

Consider the user – size and comfort

Staff measured their hand size using a chart from a glove manufacturer. The salon owner found that she would need to supply gloves in sizes small and medium.

Consider the task

The salon owner wanted gloves that would give good dexterity and with a smooth surface.

The salon owner asked a glove manufacturer to send some samples of gloves that met her needs, for her staff to try out.

The owner finally selected 300 mm length, single-use nitrile gloves with a smooth surface. These gloves gave the protection needed for all of the tasks carried out in the salon. They were thin enough to give good dexterity and allowed staff to the feel the temperature of the water when shampooing. The long length meant that staff could turn up the cuffs. This practice traps anything running down the glove and stops it running down the wearer's arms.

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Updated 2021-05-04