Gloves Off Campaign!

Posted on: April 21, 2023

​Island Health is starting a regional Gloves Off! Campaign in May 2023.  Learn more about this great initiative today!

Why is a Gloves off Campaign needed in Island Health?

Island Health is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, improving patient experience and environmental sustainability. 

Healthcare associated infections present a significant risk to patients, they are an important patient safety and quality issue due to the associated increased morbidity and mortality, and are listed as one of the more frequent adverse events in healthcare.1   

Removing gloves has been identified as one way Healthcare workers contaminate their hands 2 and the hands of staff are recognised as one of the most common ways in which organisms are transferred between healthcare workers and patients.3  

Our regional Island Health hand hygiene observations routinely demonstrate that staff often use gloves when they are not required and hand hygiene would be more appropriate, such as providing care to a patient when there is no risk of blood or body fluid exposure, pushing a stretcher or wheelchair and handling clean linen.  

Hand hygiene before and after glove use are the most common misses and while staff may feel they are protecting themselves by wearing gloves, the reality is that staff could potentially be increasing their risk of transmission by wearing gloves incorrectly and not performing the required hand hygiene.

In addition to transmission risk, incorrect use of gloves leads to higher volumes of plastics in the landfill. While glove manufacturers are looking at ways to provide gloves that are more environmentally friendly we are not there yet, and in the meantime we should look for ways to be more environmentally responsible. 

Reducing the unnecessary use of gloves can have a significant impact on the amount of plastics in landfill. A similar project conducted at one hospital in the UK prevented up to 18 tonnes of plastic waste in the first year. 4

​What is the purpose of the campaign?

To create a noticeable and measurable decrease in inappropriate glove use in Island Health (IH) through a paradigm shift in organizational culture.

The goals of this campaign are to:

  1. Improve hand hygiene rates across all IH sites

  2. Decrease the number of hand hygiene misses that are associated with inappropriate glove use

  3. Increase staff and patient safety from appropriate hand washing practices

  4. Decrease hospital acquired infections from great hand hygiene compliance

  5. Decrease staff time off from workplace acquired infections related to inappropriate glove use

  6. Decrease the environmental impact of glove waste produced by IH.

  7. Decrease the volume of gloves ordered, translating to a cost savings for Island Health.

How is the project being implemented?

The official project launch is May 1 to coincide with the WHO Hand Hygiene Week. Prior to and during this week you will begin to see promotional information here in The Weekly, to your inboxes, on the Intranet and via the Infection Prevention and Control Instagram account (@islandhealthipac). 

If you would like more information on this exciting initiative you can view a brief presentation at this link. You can also reach out to Infection Prevention and Control at: or