Project title: Implementation of a Glove-Based PPE Qualification Process for a Small-Scale R&D Lab in the Semiconductor Industry
Completed in: 2017 | Faculty advisor: Michael G. Yost
Selection of Personal Protective Equipment is a common task that permeates workplaces globally, but is especially relevant in manufacturing environments where workers interact with many parts that contribute to finished products. When done incorrectly it has the potential to pose numerous health risks. Among the major pieces of Personal Protective Equipment, gloves are the most commonly used and are necessary to provide a barrier between their user and the hazard (physical, chemical, biological). Several studies have reviewed considerations made during glove selection that focus on ergonomic benefits, resistance of materials to hazardous industry-specific chemicals, validity of glove testing methods, and more. The goal of this study was to create and implement a glove selection and qualification process for a small pathfinding research lab in the semiconductor industry lab that requested an alternate glove option to achieve greater dexterity when working with sensitive equipment, while still proving appropriate chemical protection. This study did so by looking at the three stages of personal protective equipment evaluation; feasibility, usability, and adoption. 22 organic solvents of various classes were reviewed for dermal and chronic hazards and relevant properties, such as boiling point (to estimate evaporation rate). Three different gloves of different thicknesses were reviewed (MAPA Trionic 514+ [current glove], MAPA TRIlites 983/993/994 [proposed], Kimberly Clark Kimtech Pure G3 Nitrile [proposed]) against the list of chemicals. A set of 5-10 tasks were reviewed to determine feasibility and assess the need for a particular glove. Discussions were had with the aforementioned glove manufacturers and an electronic survey was administered for responses to a glove pilot and for users to addresses concerns with a response rate of 80% in Part 1 and 60% in Part 2. Recommendations were made for 18 of the 22 chemicals reviewed to be approved for use with MAPA Trilites and 12 of the 22 approved for use with the Kimberly Clark glove. Further review is needed to assess the adoption of these recommendations. Approved PPE should continue to be used to reduce the risk of exposure.