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The number of applications for which hand protection must be provided is too extensive to list. In general, protection must be provided wherever there is a hazard.

A comprehensive list of hazards must be compiled for each workplace and suitable hand protection obtained for each process.


There is a vast range of hand protection. To make sure that the correct type is used for a specific task, refer to suppliers' catalogues and if in doubt seek advice from the manufacturer or supplier.

  • Sufficient stocks should be held to ensure that there is an adequate supply, particularly in the event that gloves become damaged
  • Consideration should be given to the need for a glove lining or inner glove or moisturizer/barrier cream where prolonged use of waterproof gloves is envisaged
  • A range of sizes should be available to accommodate individual requirements

Chemical hazards

For protection from chemical hazards, a range of glove types may be required. One type of glove will not provide protection against all chemical hazards, and compatibility charts need to be consulted when identifying suitable gloves for a particular application. Gloves should be checked routinely for leaks and rejected gloves destroyed immediately.


Some people may develop an allergic reaction to latex gloves. To avoid reactions, you can provide reduced-protein and powder-free gloves, ensure good housekeeping to reduce latex build up and advise workers to wash hands thoroughly after removing latex gloves.

Australian safety guidelines

  • AS/NZS 2161.1 Occupational protective gloves - Part 1: Selection, use and maintenance
  • AS/NZS 2161.2 Occupational protective gloves - Part 2: General requirements
  • AS/NZS 2161.3 Occupational protective gloves - Part 3: Protection against mechanical risks
  • AS/NZS 2161.4 Occupational protective gloves - Part 4: Protection against thermal risks (heat and fire)
  • AS/NZS 2161.5 Occupational protective gloves - Part 5: Protection against cold
  • AS/NZS 2161.7.1 Occupational protective gloves - Part 7.1: Protection against cuts and stabs by hand knives – chainmail gloves and arm guards
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