Choosing the right gloves - Example 2: a battery manufacturer
A battery manufacturing company had taken all the steps they could to prevent exposure to harmful substances in their workplace. However, there were some areas where protective gloves would be needed. One of those areas was for battery filling and charging. Workers could be exposed to corrosive acid.
Identify the substances handled
Sulphuric acid was involved in the process.
Identify all other hazards
There are no other hazards to hands.
Consider the type and duration of contact
As the batteries are filled workers might be accidentally splashed with acid. Workers might also come in contact with the acid from touching contaminated work surfaces. Gloves would need to be worn for most of a shift.
Consider the user - size and comfort
Size charts were used to gauge glove sizes needed.
Consider the task
The gloves needed to be quite strong as tasks were quite manual. It wasn’t important to have a great deal of dexterity. A good grip was important.
As a strong glove was needed, re-usable gloves were selected. A medium cuff length would protect both the hands and forearms. Manufacturer's data showed that a range of glove materials could be used to protect against battery acid. However, a pair of 0.4 mm thick, re-usable Neoprene gloves gave protection for a full shift. These had a textured surface and would give the required grip.