An ergonomic evaluation of dexterity and tactility with increase in examination/surgical glove thickness

Ergonomics. 1995 Apr;38(4):723-33. doi: 10.1080/00140139508925144.


Latex gloves of five different thicknesses (0.21 mm, 0.51 mm, 0.65 mm, 0.76 mm, and 0.83 mm) were manufactured in-house and tested for dexterity and tactility; dexterity and tactility measures with the bare hand were used as control values. Fifteen adult males (mean age = 22.8 years, mean stature = 179 cm, mean body weight = 75.4 kg, mean palm width = 9.9 cm, mean palm depth = 10.9 cm, and mean middle finger length = 9 cm) and five adult females (mean age = 21.2 years, mean stature = 168 cm, mean body weight = 53.6 kg, mean palm width = 8 cm, mean palm depth = 8 cm, and mean middle finger length = 8.3 cm) voluntarily participated. The gloves also were tested for punctures resulting from impact forces encountered during routine hand movements. The results indicated that the latex glove with 0.83 mm thickness successfully resisted routine impact forces and at the same time provided dexterity and tactility comparable to the bare hand. Thinner gloves failed the impact test and punctured. This indicates that it is possible to greatly reduce the incidence of exposure to contaminated body fluids through accidental needlesticks without compromising the preferred hand's capabilities.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Gloves, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needlestick Injuries / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Risk Factors
  • Touch*