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DuPont de Nemours Dordrecht

Successful tests with Ansell gloves at DuPont Dordrecht

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Frans Raadsheer, Safety Coordinator DuPont Dordrecht (NL): "Ansell gloves do more than just provide excellent protection. Their high level of comfort and good hand mobility also mean that they are worn more often, which in turn promotes safety".

Customer company profile

DuPont is one of the largest scientific companies in the world, with three locations in the Netherlands. The 55-hectare site at Dordrecht contains nine factories that manufacture raw materials and semi-finished products such as polymers and chemicals. These products are supplied by DuPont in the form of granules, pre-cut chunks, fine powder, gases or liquids. The best known semi-finished products are Teflon®PTFE, Viton®, Delrin® and Surlyn®. DuPont customers use these products for a whole range of industrial and consumer products, such as clothes, cookware, inks, paints and medical equipment. The DuPont facility at Dordrecht employs a workforce of approximately 850, as well as some 300 contractors.

World leader in industrial safety switches to protection with Ansell products at its Viton® factory.

Ansell products take protection and user comfort to a higher level, while keeping costs the same. It's a great accolade when, after extensive testing, this is the conclusion reached by one of the world's largest chemicals companies - especially when that company is internationally renowned for its culture of safety in the workplace..

Benefits for the customer

  • Gloves with a high level of protection, against both cuts and chemicals

  • High level of comfort promotes the acceptance of protective gloves

  • Cost controls, thanks to their outstanding washability and retention of protective properties

The challenge: better acceptance of PPE

DuPont is one of the world's oldest industrial companies. The parent company in the United States was founded in 1802 and from the outset, DuPont set the standard in health and safety. For example, DuPont was the first manufacturer in the world to employ company doctors. Since 1972, DuPont has introduced its safety philosophy to over 1,500 organisations worldwide. For many of them, these standards are the benchmark in this area.

For Frans Raadsheer, Safety Coordinator at DuPont Dordrecht in the Netherlands, having a culture of safety also means searching non-stop for improvements. "At our DPE unit (DuPont Performance Elastomers)," he says, "Viton® is cut automatically on the extrusion line into 2.5-kg pieces. Sometimes, production workers have to cut this highly adhesive product from its mould under water using a knife. When they do this, we use gloves for protection against cuts and the acidic water. Trouble was, using thick gloves meant that workers were hindered in their movements. We used to hear all sorts of complaints about a lack of sensitivity and grip."

The solution: Ansell Vantage® and HyFlex® CR+ gloves

Frans Raadsheer first came across Ansell products that offered strength and protection against cuts and chemicals at a DuPont Personal Protection seminar, where Ansell was talking about EN Standards and Kevlar® gloves. After an analysis of the situation at the factory by Ansell, Mr Raadsheer decided to combine the very high cut resistance - EN5 - of the Ansell Vantage®, as underglove, with the chemical properties of the Ansell ThermaPrene™ glove, which has a neoprene coating.

Starting in May 2005, these Ansell gloves were tested on the Viton® production line by 10 employees (2 workers in each of the 5 shifts). The results were tracked regularly and after the shutdown of the factory for maintenance in October 2005, all of the workers involved in the test were required to complete an evaluation form. On a scale of 1 to 10, the Ansell gloves scored 8 to 9. "This was a particularly high score for a form of personal protection equipment that is usually not so popular," states Mr Raadsheer. "But I wasn't actually very surprised: the workers had already been full of praise for the flexibiliy and finger sensitivity of the Vantage and the outstanding grip of the HyFlex® CR+, which had been used by around 60 workers since December 2005. Contractors working at our factory were also showing an interest."

The benefits: protection, tactility, acceptance

In addition to the intrinsic protective properties where Ansell scores very highly, Frans Raadsheer also believes that comfort is extremely important for personal protection equipment. "If users find it a nuisance to wear gloves, there is a risk that sooner or later they simply won't put them on," he says. "The danger is particularly high for doing quick little jobs. Having the right amount of sensitivity in your fingers is even more important when you are cutting in an acidic environment, because then you're wearing two pairs of gloves, one over the other. Ansell has helped us make significant progress in that area."

It quickly became clear that the workers preferred Ansell. In the beginning, when they had limited test stocks, they spontaneously had their Ansell Vantage® gloves washed, rather than go back to the old products. And when they have been washed, Vantage gloves still perform surprisingly well. Also striking is the fact that even on small jobs, workers wear the Ansell gloves, with no danger of being cut, simply because they are comfortable and pleasant to wear.

Safety always comes first at DuPont, but Frans Raadsheer also draws some interesting cost-benefit analyses. "Even though the Ansell gloves are more expensive to buy than the previous brand, they make up for that in use, because they wash very well. Gloves that are worn more often reduce the risk of injury. Over time, that produces a saving."

Ansell Products and Services used

Teflon®, Viton®, Delrin®, Surlyn® and Kevlar® are registered trademarks of DuPont Vantage®, HyFlex® and Crusader Flex® are registered trademarks of Ansell, ThermaPrene and PowerFlex are trademarks of Ansell


  • Ansell: Wouter Piepers, Director Communications EMEA - Tel.: + 32 (0)2 528 75 68, e-mail:

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