Glove Intelligent Assistant
Gloves are helpful in all kinds of working environments. This is especially true in the agricultural industry. While many of our SW products are exam grade, this ensures a higher quality level with our products. However, they can only be used in medical or examination environments. Workers must protect their hands for all sorts of reasons and use high-quality products that can offer even more protection than the minimum necessary. This week’s blog will discuss the current use of gloves in the agricultural industry and a rising niche market in growing Cannabis.
In the past few years, the Cannabis growing industry has become a popular niche within the agricultural sector. The recent liberalization of Cannabis laws and legalization of marijuana in various states and countries has led to this trend. While it is a rather untraditional subgenre in the agricultural industry, the global cannabis cultivation market size was valued at USD 392.1 billion in 2022 (Grand View Research) and is expected to grow exponentially by 2030.
To begin, what are some common hazards in the agricultural industry?
As the agricultural industry requires workers to use manual labor frequently, there are concerns for hand safety when operating heavy machinery, insecticides or chemical herbicides, extreme seasonal changes, and cuts or abrasions from harvesting crops. Workers in the agricultural industry often need to perform tasks that include working with live animals, handling herbicides or pesticides, and coming into contact with contaminated soil. Many herbicides and pesticides contain chemicals that can be toxic to humans. Commonly used herbicides and pesticides in the agricultural industry include glyphosate, chlorpyrifos, and paraquat. These chemicals can cause harmful chemical reactions in workers’ bodies who come in contact with them and can be permeated through the skin. The gloves workers must use provide adequate chemical protection for those who come into skin contact with them. Workers must also be mindful of reducing the chance of bacteria spreading among livestock and the products they must plant. A worker can come into contact with infected livestock and transfer pathogens to other environments or other healthy livestock. Zoonotic diseases that spread from animals to humans can arise due to improper protection and prevention. As for working with machinery, workers need a robust and durable glove that can protect them during repairs or usage. Standard machinery in the agricultural industry would be tractors, seed drills, trowels, plows, and other heavy machinery, which can cause workplace accidents if improper PPE (personal protective equipment) is used and involves contact with different toxic chemicals as well.
Going back to the Cannabis growing industry, while growers are cultivating specialty crops, they share similar concerns with the general agricultural industry. Cannabis plants and stems easily snag or rip gloves. Long-term handling of Cannabis plants will accumulate resin on one’s gloves, so there needs to be high long-term tactility in the gloves used to handle the plants. Even more critical is ensuring the end product is not contaminated with pathogens, bacteria, or chemicals.
Due to these concerns, disposable nitrile gloves have become a popular choice for those working in the agricultural industry. While latex gloves have a more comfortable fit, many people are allergic to latex – as previously mentioned in another blog post. Nitrile is the following best material, with comparable dexterity. Nitrile gloves offer durability as they are resistant to tearing, such as when handling heavy machinery or prickly produce. SW products use ASTM D6319 standards to ensure adequate tensile strength, a physical property of gloves that measures how much force is required to tear apart a material.
Another reason is that nitrile gloves are chemical-resistant, as the material does not break down easily in solid chemicals. SW products undergo ASTM F739-12 and ANSI-ISEA 105 testing standards to ensure our gloves offer the utmost chemical protection. Lastly, there is concern about the spread of pathogens. SW nitrile gloves are tested to protect against bacteria, fungi, and viruses, according to EN 374-5:2016. SW’s disposable nitrile gloves are a competitive choice in choosing high-quality nitrile gloves that address multiple concerns agricultural workers may encounter in their workplace environments.