by Justine Charneau, Eagle Protect
While everyone has heard the saying, “…fits like a glove,” disposable glove wearers don’t always adhere to the literal meaning behind this popular phrase – especially in the cannabis industry. This is part and parcel of the problem, particularly when companies routinely buy only one type of glove, in one or two sizes, for the entire staff to wear. That may make for a much easier purchasing decision, but it’s capable of putting cannabis workers’ hand health – and even job place safety – at risk. Because of the highly tactile nature of work in the cannabis industry, worker productivity is best enhanced with better-fitting gloves that need to be changed less often.
Aside from offering workforces a supply of gloves in various thicknesses and sizes, which seems like a logical solution, what other factors come into play with regard to finding a proper glove fit? As it turns out, quite a bit.
Sizing Up the Supply
While many employees are aware of the different types of disposable gloves, the majority of workers have never laid eyes on a glove-sizing chart. When ordering supplies, it’s advisable to start with the specific glove sizes that have worked for staff, while sampling several others to offer a wide variety. Hand-related safety risks in the cannabis industry include the potential for cuts, pinches, and even sprains.
The Downside of Ill-Fitting Gloves
Neglecting a proper fit can easily lead to work-related disorders in the cannabis industry. These include occupational skin diseases (OSDs) like dermatitis, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) caused by repetitive tasks that can strain the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessel damage, and the biggest risk of all – partial contamination. Ill-fitting gloves, such as the excess material in a size too large, can catch, snag, and tear. Frequently ripped gloves increase costs, while ill-fitting gloves also leave the wearer with less tactility, reducing worker productivity and efficiency.
Glove Preferences by Type
Disposable gloves come in several different varieties, of which the tactility and durability are directly related to the quality of their raw materials and ingredients. The optimal glove type for cannabis-related work is nitrile, due to their enhanced strength, durability, and puncture resistance. They also offer some of the best protection against chemicals, bacteria, and fungi.
Conduct a Trial Run
Many purchasers are unaware that reputable glove suppliers will often offer a free trial of samples, both of varying thickness, colors, and sizes, in order for individual workers to determine the best glove for their needs. An ordering process that takes into account the needs, safety, and risk factors associated with every staff member’s needs is an essential consideration for every cannabis grow operation.
Before you place your next bulk glove order, do a little research to determine what factors are at stake for the fit, comfort, and safety of your workforce. A great place to start would be Eagle Protect’s comprehensive Disposable Glove Buying Guide.
Justine Charneau is the head of cannabis industry sales at Eagle Protect, a disposable glove supplier dedicated to the responsible sourcing of quality products that ensure customer safety and impact reduction, ultimately mitigating customers’ risk. Eagle Protect is the only global PPE supplier that is a Certified B Corporation, a designation that a business has met the highest standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org