7.3 Gloves

Gloves must be worn for all procedures that involve direct contact, or may involve accidental contact, with sputum, blood, body fluids and other potentially infectious materials. After use, gloves should be removed aseptically and hands washed.

Contaminated gloves (and unwashed hands) may be a source of infection for other staff members if they are used to handle or operate equipment in the laboratory (such as a centrifuge or telephone).

Regular hand washing is essential to prevent many types of laboratory-acquired infections, including those caused by bloodborne pathogens.

Disposable latex, latex-free vinyl (clear) or nitrile gloves can be used, and the correct size (small, medium or large) should be available for all individuals. Gloves should fi t as comfortably as possible and should cover the wrists.

Disposable gloves must never be reused, and once they have been used they should be discarded with infectious laboratory waste. There must be a reliable supply of gloves. Gloves should not be worn outside the laboratory.

Staff should remove gloves and wash their hands thoroughly with water and soap after handling infectious materials, working in a BSC, and before leaving the laboratory. 

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