Cleaning workers, in fact all workers, need to be aware of something. In most work situations, you are responsible for your own safety. Often, all it takes to be safe is to just practice good common sense.
But unfortunately, that can be forgotten or overlooked in the workplace. Workers are often in a rush to complete a task or forget to do just one more thing, and that’s when an accident occurs.
Frequently, these types of injuries happen to the hands. Workers, and especially cleaning workers, should always wear gloves when performing their cleaning duties, however, just wearing gloves is not enough. They must wear them correctly.
Here are some glove wearing “best practices” cleaning workers should follow when performing their cleaning duties:
- Wear gloves whenever working with cleaning solutions, especially if they are very powerful chemicals such as degreasers, acids, caustics, alkalis, or window cleaning solutions.
- Consider wearing long-sleeve or elbow length gloves. These cover not only your hands but much of your wrist and they offer far greater skin protection.
- Be aware that one glove does not fit all cleaning situations. Some are designed for different purposes such as protecting the wearer from chemicals, others protect from body fluids, heat, even pricks such as a needle prick.
- Always change gloves if they get torn, ripped, or contaminated while working. If working in a food service location, gloves should be changed after coughing or sneezing.
- Change gloves when moving from one area of a facility to another; if in a medical facility, gloves should be changed after cleaning each room.
- When removing gloves, avoid touching the contaminated side of the glove with unprotected hands; grab inside the top of each glove and pull it off the hands so it is inside out.
- Once removed, leave the gloves inside out and deposit them in an appropriate trash container.
- Wash hands before and after wearing gloves; if wearing petroleum-based products on your hands such as hand lotions, be sure and wash the lotion off your hands. The petroleum-based products and hand lotions may degrade some types of gloves.
- Always avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose while wearing gloves and directly after removing used gloves.
- Gloves should never be washed, cleaned, or disinfected with the intent to reuse them; in most cases, gloves worn for cleaning should be used once and then tossed.
Gloves are designed to help protect cleaning workers. Because they play such an important role, it is also a wise practice to select gloves from an established and respected manufacturer. This helps ensure the gloves will be of consistent, high quality. For more information on glove selection, contact an Impact Products specialist.