The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that gloves should not create an additional hazard to an employee's hands when working on moving or automated equipment. OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.38 requires gloves for workers exposed to harmful substances, cuts, lacerations, severe abrasions and burns.
Industries that use automated cutting machines or other moving equipment, such as chicken processing, expose workers to cuts, abrasions and lacerations, but may create an additional hazard if workers are wearing gloves that do not fit or are not appropriate for the task.
Gloves in disrepair may increase a worker’s chance of hand injury. The employer has an obligation to install machine guards to prevent the worker’s hand from being drawn into the moving machinery, according to the Poultry Processing Industry guidelines.
OSHA investigated the Merrifield, Virginia Post Office to determine if nitrile gloves posed a hazard to postal employees working around mail processing equipment. According to the OSHA report, the use of nitrile gloves did not pose a threat as long as the worker used safe procedures in removing mail that could jam during mail processing.
Mary Anne Simpson's research and copy editing career began in 1995. She is a contributing author for PhysOrg and various other websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine and a Juris Doctor from Western State University.