When employers require their employees to wear disposable gloves, they must ensure the proper glove material and size are used. If not, workers may neglect their compliance responsibilities.
This was one finding noted in research by Ethan Bernstein, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. While examining how factory-floor workers behaved when they were being watch compared to when they were not, he discovered employees will not properly wear their gloves if they did not fit correctly, particularly if the gloves reduced productivity, according to Business Insider.
In some cases, employees wore only one glove or cut off the fingertips to increase their working speed. This can present health and safety risks for employees and consumers. In the food processing industry, for instance, gloves help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses such as listeria and salmonella.
Additionally, gloves protect consumers against poor worker hygiene.
In the food processing industry in particular, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, gloves are typically used.
For his experiment, Bernstein noticed the glove material makes all the difference. For example, latex or nitrile gloves, which conform more closely to the hand than other glove materials, would be suitable for handling small parts.
Given the speed required in manufacturing, having the right glove is essential. Consequently, employers must ensure their workers have gloves that fit properly. Incorrect sizing can reduce comfort and increase the risk of tearing. By finding the right material and following best practices for donning gloves, employers can ensure workers are adhering to procedures and protecting themselves and consumers.