September 28, 2016
Re: Glove Use Not Necessary for Injections
Recently, employees have expressed concerns with personnel failing to wear non-sterile gloves when
administering influenza vaccinations.
1. The Occupational Safety and Healthcare Administration (OSHA) specifically instructs that the
use of gloves during most routine injections is not necessary (1) and have further clarified this
position in “Ask the Expert” updates in subsequent years (2).
2. UW Health’s Bloodborne Pathogen Control Plan stipulates when glove use is required and
routine injections do not qualify (3).
a. There are a number of UW Health policies undergoing review and integration as we
streamline our practices. Some of these may make reference to wearing gloves during
injections. We are actively working to identify and remedy these discrepancies. The UW
Health Bloodborne Pathogen Control Plan supersedes these policies.
3. Excessive or unnecessary glove use is not without its potential for unintended consequences,
including the propensity of users to perform hand hygiene less frequently (4, 5). Furthermore,
using gloves when it is not necessary, in a setting of high volume and high patient turnover
increases the probability of failing to change gloves between injection recipients (which is
required) and therefore increases the risk to the patient/recipient.
It is worth noting that gloves are personnel protective equipment (PPE); they protect the person
wearing them and offer no protection to the patient. Appropriate hand hygiene between injections
protects the patient and is required. If you have any concerns, please contact Infection Control at
Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD
UW Health and Middleton Memorial VA
1. OSHA CPL 02-02-069:
2. OSHA Ask the Expert: Gloves for Injections http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha/2012/01/ask-the-
infection-control-uwhc/bloodborne-pathogen-control/resources/name-13216-en.file (pg 7)