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Using latex/nitrile gloves while machining

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  • Using latex/nitrile gloves while machining

    I am familiar with the "no gloves" policy of machine safety...and I wouldn't wear anything that could get entangled in a moving machine and draw me into it.

    However, the first machine shop teacher I had stated that there is also significant danger of liver damage and varied skin conditions from prolonged exposure to cutting fluids, lubricating oils, and solvents common to the machine shop. He suggested that students purchase and use latex or nitrile gloves to protect from this exposure...stating that the gloves obviously are not strong enough to pull ones hand into the machine, and therefore don't violate the "no gloves" rule. I've used gloves while machining and wrenching since then.

    My current shop teacher will not let me use rubber gloves.

    My question is if any of you know of an applicable OSHA or equivalent rule regarding this that I can give to the teacher? I just wanted to get some input before I go searching for a regulation that may or may not exist.

    Our school safety video did mention dermititus and exposure to fluids but suggested frequent hand washing as a remedy. I've worked in a hospital before and I know the result of constant hand washing...Dermititus. Plus this remedy does not address toxic affects on the liver. Thanks for listening.

    [This message has been edited by abn (edited 06-24-2002).]

  • #2
    I just got a latex glove out and tried stretching it. Grabbing one finger with my right hand and the rest of the glove with my left, I could stretch it more than three feet, and the glove did not fail, my arm strength was the limiting factor. Then I tried a pair of pliers on one fingertip. The pliers tore a patch out of the tip, but not before it had stretched about six inches.

    But even if the gloves are weak enough to break away, can you depend on having enough reaction time to jerk your hand out before it gets tangled in the works? This little experiment persuaded me I'm not going to wear gloves around moving machinery. For layout and bench work, yes, but not around moving machines.

    As an alternative, I've had good success with barrier cream. There are two general categories, for wet work and for oily work. I've only used the one for oily work. I can't say how well it protects the skin from absorbing toxins, but it shields me from grimy oil well enough that just a light soap and water wash leaves my hands stain free.

    Also, if I just slow down a little bit and take the time to wipe the oil or solvent off with a rag before handling the parts, I can mostly avoid getting any on my skin.

    [This message has been edited by Uncle Dunc (edited 06-25-2002).]


    • #3
      Been handling oily stuff most of my life, have never had a skin reaction to any of it. I guess a predisposition to allergens is a genetic thing and I just got lucky. As for liver damage, that's more as a result of the alcohol that machinists consume after work.


      • #4

        Your teacher is justified in worring about the gloves snaging. However I am sure OHSA would have something to say regarding exposure to the chemicals. Nitrile gloves are used in the semiconductor industry because of the high tear strengh and puncture resistance - their chemical protection varies from material to material.

        I thing they are a good idea purely from protecting from the fluids and metal slivers. They should not be loose fitting however.

        I use latex gloves - they tear way to easily. Nitrile is better for most applications. Some chemicals attack different materials this need to be considered in choosing glove material.

        You should be aware that if you call OSHA your school may get in deep, deep s--t over this.



        • #5
          Thanks for the replies...

          I do not intend to call OSHA on my school, I was just looking for something in print from a reputable source regarding health effects of oils and fluids to bring up to my instructor one on one. Or something that proves my concerns wrong.

          I've been using latex and nitrile gloves for about seven or eight years now...mostly for wrenching and lately for machining. Latex is good for one job before they break, nitrile is a bit better. I wholeheartedly trust my reaction time with these gloves because by the time I'm that close to the blade, tool, or work it would have been skin I think the couple thousandths advance warning the glove gives me can be an asset. Once again, I've worked with them a long time now so I know that they tear very easily in practice. These are the Harbor Freight type gloves not a thick kitchen or solvent tank glove or something.

          Just trying to balance the risks...I know people who've worked many years exposed to oils and fluids...but then I know people who work with fiberglass resins wearing only a dust mask, I know body shop guys who prime without a respirator, some electricians who worked around asbestos, some who smoked all their lives, and the list goes on. Some appear to have no affects, others not so lucky.


          • #6
            MSDS should be available or made available for oils, solvents, etc from manufactorer or vender


            • #7
              I'm a mechanic and I've been wearing latex gloves on the job for the past 5 years. Seems I got tired of the painful, bleeding cracks I'd develop on my fingers. I've gotten my gloves caught in all manner of tools and machines. Each time the glove would rip. My hands have never been injured as a result. If anything, the gloves have prevented more injuries than I would have expected. Come on, we're not talking welding gloves. We're talking about tight fitting surgical gloves.There is a ppossibility that they could get caught and you could get hurt. The important thing to remember is to keep your hands away from spinning objects. Nowadays I always ask myself "can I get hurt this way?" before I put my hands ANYWHERE.


              • #8
                And sometimes it's a good idea to wear those one fingered gloves too. Mike


                • #9
                  look for a hand creem skin protectant. theres all sorts of different kinds. some simply make it easier to wash off grees, others actually make it harder for stuff to absorb into your skin.

                  only down side is there all water soluable, so they're rather infective on water based cutting fluids. but i still have a contaner near by for myself.

                  some cutting oils are verry dangerous, ie the easy tap incident (killed off lots of old machinists). I'd still use gloves for some things, best to check with msds


                  Woried about saftey eh, my school says we need to have long sleeves so we dont get burnt from flying chips and sparks. go figure?
                  I'll take my chance with the hot chips. over getting my sleeve caught in something and ripping off an arm.

                  [This message has been edited by bluechipps (edited 07-14-2002).]


                  • #10
                    Long sleeves and jewely biggest no no's in any shop of any kind as far as im concerned.

                    When I first started machining I ran a bank of drill presses drilling some cast iron parts. I was allowed to wear glooves because of the mess cast iron makes. let me tell ya there was a chip hanging off a 1/2 drill bit that i treid to knock off and next thing I knew arm was wrapped around drill spindle and bogging down the motor. It didnt feel good and swear my wrist was sore for a week.

                    So naked is good.


                    • #11

                      Be carefull or as punishment you will be force to date my sister! (I would be praying the drill killed me instead of that)

                      On the serious side I am sure OSHA would approve of Nitrile gloves - they are skin tight and if you get that close you brought the pain on yourself by being stupid.


                      • #12
                        uh .... my naked fingers can feel .0001 or so. maybe a 1/16th with gloves on. willing to accept punishment of dating your sister, but are you willing to accept me if she likes me?


                        • #13
                          Trap!!!!!! I am waiting to see how that 600 pound gorilla dances on this one


                          • #14

                            Why in hell would you want a Red-Haired Screech Monster when you could just sit in the corner and hit yourself in the head with a ballbeen hammer until it feels good? You want her, she's all yours - but you can't bring it back either (no refunds or returns accepted). It has four rug monsters too that come with the "package". I will throw in a free brick so you can crush it with your head while recite the mantra "I should have listened to the 400Lb. gorilla - WHACK - ..."

                            I know, you are a sado-masochist and enjoy pain - go for it. Oh yeah, she is ugly too. Even uglier than Brent! At least Brent shaves.

                            I may have been a 600 lb. gorilla once - now it is the slim & trim 411 lb. gorilla! And damn good looking in the dark - I might add. I am short for my weight - if I was a foot taller - or longer - it would fit better...the weight, smartass!


                            • #15
                              as a salesman, dave , you need Carniege (spelling?) training. It is obvious you are doing a bait and switch on Trap. If you want to keep your sis, you gotta be smooother! You build her up to unreasonable expectations.