What is the best way to store rubber safety gloves?

Q:

What is the best way to store rubber safety gloves?

A:

Rubber safety gloves are an essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers who work with, or in close proximity to, energized lines and equipment (learn about the hazards in Electricity in the Workplace: The Silent Killer). This equipment can help protect a worker in the case of an arc flash (a high temperature event often accompanied by shocks) or other safety incident.

Why is Storage Important?

In order to maximize protection and safety for workers, it's necessary to go further than just purchasing the right pair of rubber safety gloves and wearing them regularly. It is important to consider and implement how to safely store these gloves so that they remain in tip-top shape for as long as possible and stay safe and effective. Safe and appropriate storage of rubber safety gloves will help ensure that these gloves are best able to protect you under any circumstances, and will also extend the lifespan of the product and save you money in the long-run.

Storage Guidelines

The ASTM, the American Society for Testing and Materials, has established protocols (ASTM 496) to guide workers and employees in safely storing their PPE. In terms of rubber safety gloves, these standards suggest that when gloves are not in use that they should be stored inside approved bags. Most of these bags are canvas and although there are a wide variety of options available on the market, many of them can be purchased for less than $30. Once the gloves are placed in a storage bag, the storage bag should be put into a cool and dry location that is away from direct sunlight – since sunlight, heat, and moisture can all negatively impact the integrity and safety of rubber gloves.

In addition to storing the gloves inside a recommended storage bag, the ASTM also notes that gloves can be stored inside of their leather protectors. However, caution should be used with this approach – particularly if the leather protectors are wet.

More Helpful Tips

No matter what storage system is used, there are certain things that should always be remembered. Gloves should always be stored right side out turning rubber gloves inside out can put stress on the rubber which may result in dangerous cracks in the material. The gloves should also be stored fingertips up. Finally, the gloves should never be folded when they are put into their bag or storage container. Folding can also stress the rubber and compromise the gloves’ ability to protect their wearer from electrical injuries.

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