The Power Of Colour – Why Use Coloured Gloves In The Workplace

Colours aren’t just for aesthetics; they can revolutionise your workplace safety and efficiency! Discover the potential of coloured gloves and how they can impact your daily work routine.


Do you know the difference between a blue and white disposable glove?

In the mid-90s, when nitrile disposable gloves were introduced, the difference was the material (and yes, also the colour).

Nitrile disposable gloves were first produced in blue to indicate their difference from latex and vinyl gloves, which were white. This colour difference allowed easy recognition of which gloves were to be used by people with latex irritations and which gloves offered better chemical resistance.

The Glove Company introduced the first commercially available black nitrile disposable glove in Australia and New Zealand in 2007. These black gloves weren’t merely a replication of blue medical gloves but signified a completely unique and stronger formulation.

Once black nitrile disposable gloves were introduced, disposable glove wearers had three options to choose from, easily differentiated by colour; white was latex and vinyl, blue was latex-free nitrile, and black was industrial-grade nitrile.

Today, disposable gloves are widely available in all shades and colours, regardless of material.  


As indicated above, the most useful purpose for coloured disposable gloves is to be a part of a colour-coded system. Workplaces with multiple departments, applications, or processes can implement a different colour glove for each, preventing cross-contamination and making identification super easy.

Another key benefit is concealing or highlighting contamination on the glove surface. Light coloured gloves such as orange or white allow the wearer to see any hazards on the glove which helps prevent cross-contamination. Meanwhile, dark coloured gloves such as black or purple hide contaminants.

Colours such as pink, yellow, red, etc may be used simply to add some fun colour to a workplace, give employees options to choose from to match scrubs and uniforms or provide contrast when double gloving.

Keep reading for the benefits of the most popular disposable glove colours.


Blue is by far the most popular colour choice for disposable gloves. Available in many shades, blue nitrile disposable gloves are commonly used in medical and food settings for many reasons.

First, blue is the universal colour for health – Nurse scrubs, hair nets, and face masks are all commonly blue. The colour often represents calmness, sensitivity, and trust.

Light blue gloves highlight hazardous contaminants ensuring wearers can see when they must discard their gloves. Meanwhile, dark blue gloves help hide contaminants such as blood to create a more comfortable, reliable, and calm environment. The sharp contrast between the blue glove and skin makes it easy to detect any damage to the glove which could be detrimental if not detected.

Finally, no food is truly blue, therefore glove fragments can immediately be identified when preparing food, eliminating the risk of contamination. Always be sure to look out for the HACCP Food Safe Certified symbol when shopping for gloves to be used with food.

Food Safe HACCP Australian Logo

Asking us “What about blueberries?!” Click here for a fun fact – Why Are So Few Foods Naturally Blue


As we mentioned earlier, the introduction of black nitrile gloves indicated a unique formulation that was industrial grade. Black nitrile gloves were more expensive than the original blue nitrile gloves since the formulation included more nitrile to make the gloves thicker and required processes that were harder without today’s technology. The formula was also tougher than its thinner, blue medical counterpart and was designed to offer increased protection against chemicals and solvents.

Black is the glove colour of choice for anyone who wants to hide contaminants they may come in contact with. The sleek black colour ensures contaminants such as grease, ink, grime, and more blend into the glove. A dark surface helps alleviate concerns about wearing contaminated gloves, making users more comfortable and preventing overuse. It is popular within the automotive, tattooist, and law enforcement industries.


Orange nitrile gloves were introduced as a high visibility alternative to industrial grade black nitrile gloves. The bright orange colour allows wearers to see exactly what they are doing in low light and dark environments. They also make it easier for others to see the wearer on the job and in emergencies.

Like other light coloured gloves, the high-contrast surface ensures hazardous contaminants are easily detected, helping to prevent cross-contamination and keep your workplace sanitary.


Biodegradable disposable gloves are often green, however, it’s important to note that not all green gloves are biodegradable. If you are searching for a biodegradable glove, look for ASTM D5511 certification.

Green gloves offer similar benefits to orange coloured gloves mentioned above and other light coloured gloves.


White gloves are the common industry standard for cleanroom environments. The blank surface allows workers to see contaminants immediately ensuring cleanrooms remain clean.

White gloves are commonly used when double gloving. Wearing a white glove over a coloured glove allows users to notice any imperfections immediately as the coloured glove underneath provides a stark contrast compared to skin.

Disposable gloves are coloured with dye and white gloves require less dye than other colours which reduces the risk of unwanted reactions on skin sensitive to dyes.

While colours traditionally signified a glove’s material and purpose, disposable gloves are now available in a variety of combinations. Blue gloves can be latex, white gloves can be industrial grade, black gloves can be medical, and so on.

There are many practical benefits to using coloured gloves in the workplace, so it is helpful to consider what colours best apply to your operations. If there is no need for a specific colour or shade, considering the wants and needs of your business and employees is the best course for deciding which colour to choose.

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