Most of the time, the “protection” part of hand protection is straightforward. Gloves are designed specifically to protect the wearer’s hands from some type of injury — cuts, spills, burns, or even repetitive use injuries that only manifest over time. The challenge is as straightforward as finding the right glove for the job — balancing comfort, performance, and protection.
In cleanroom environments, however, it isn’t so simple. These are delicate ecosystems dedicated to research and manufacturing that are sensitive to even minute impurities, and 80 percent of those impurities originate from people.1 Gloves and other personal protective equipment must limit the introduction of any particulates into the cleanroom, which means these special-use gloves are designed to protect the products as much as the wearer. Consider the potential cost of a contaminated pharmaceutical product; millions of dollars could be conservative.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at hand protection for cleanrooms from both perspectives — providing protection for the wearer and for the product — and how glove technologies and design practices are addressing both needs.