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Ansell drums up new single-use glove

BY HBSDealer Staff

Ansell has come up with a new set of single-use gloves for handling wet and oily objects.

The new TouchNTuff 93-250 gloves are made of nitrile polymer with an innovative texture treatment.

Test results have shown the gloves to offer a significantly improved grip compared to standard nitrile gloves.

Plus, the nitrile formulation provides high tensile strength that is three times more puncture-resistant than disposable latex or polyvinylchloride gloves.

“Nearly half of the workers we surveyed wanted better grip and control when wearing protective gloves, and 70% indicated grip is a common problem with disposable gloves,” said Joe Kubicek, president and general manager of the Ansell Single-Use Global Business Unit. “We responded by developing a non-latex, single use glove that demonstrated a considerable improvement in grip, yet is tactile enough to be touch screen friendly.”

Other features include latex-free comfort and chemical splash resistance, as well as reduced hand and arm fatigue resulting from the improved grip.

The gloves are available in five sizes, ranging from extra-small to extra-large.

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NRF: Overtime proposal a ‘step back’ for career-track workers

BY Marianne Wilson

The National Retail Federation continues to turn up the heat on the Labor Department’s proposal to expand overtime pay.  

The group on Thursday told the Labor Department that the salary level recommended under the current proposal to expand overtime is too high, and asked officials to use previous methodology that would result in a lower figure. NRF also said that the plan to automatically increase the number each year without review should be rejected, and that businesses should be given at least a year to comply once new regulations take effect.

“NRF strongly opposes the Department of Labor’s proposed changes,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Attempting to raise employee wages by fiat ignores economic reality and would end up having major negative consequences for employees, employers and the economy as a whole. As hourly workers, many of the affected employees would receive reduced compensation and benefits and be diverted from career opportunities that are a path to middle-class success.”

Shay’s comments came in a letter sent to the DOL ahead of Friday’s deadline for business groups to respond to the proposal. Under DOL’s plan, most individuals making up to $970 a week would automatically receive overtime pay at time-and-a-half when working more than 40 hours a week, up from the current $455 set in 2004.

Shay cited research by NRF that reveals many retail managers largely oppose the proposed changes.  

“Many employees view being classified as exempt as a badge of professional status,” Shay said. “Being reclassified would be seen by many as a step back in their careers and as a devaluation of their roles in the organization.”

Shay said that amount – $50,440 a year – would cover two-thirds of salaried retail workers and would be “simply too high a level for the low-margin retail industry to bear without severe repercussions.”

The Labor Department chose $970 under a formula intended to give overtime to the lowest-paid 40 percent of all full-time workers nationwide who currently receive a fixed salary. But Shay said 40% “is completely arbitrary, lacks transparency and is completely lacking in foundation.”

Instead, he said DOL should use the same methodology used in 2004, when the $455 level was based on the lowest-paid 20 percent of salaried workers in the south rather than nationwide and in the retail industry rather than all industries.

Shay said cost-of-living differences mean that setting the level at $970 would provide overtime to more than 45% of currently salaried workers in 10 states and more than 50% in eight more states – more than double the percentage who now receive overtime. The association head asked DOL to reject a provision of the proposal that would automatically increase the salary level each year, saying past policy of updating it only when needed “has worked well and there is no need to break with this practice.”

Under federal law, managers and professionals who make more than the salary level can be declared exempt from overtime if they meet certain job duties tests such as having supervision of other workers as their primary duty. The current DOL proposal stops short of suggesting changes in the duties tests, but asks whether such changes should be made. Shay urged DOL not to do so, saying any changes would upset standards settled on since 2004 and “fuel unnecessary and costly litigation.”

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Do shoppers still like physical stores?

BY Dan Berthiaume

Reports of the store’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

According to the annual Global Shopper Study from mobile solutions provider Zebra Technologies Corp., more than three-quarters (76%) of shoppers feel positive about shopping in stores and nearly one-half think that technology solutions are helping retailers enable and improve their shopping experience.

In addition, more than three in 10 shoppers would prefer to go to a retail store to pick up items purchased via online or mobile channels. At the store, consumers are very interested in Wi-Fi and location-based, in-store services such as mobile coupons (51%), shopping maps (45%) and associate assistance (41%).

However, not all is rosy in the world of store-centric omnichannel retail. The study identified that more than one-third of shoppers (34%) believe they are better connected to real-time information than in-store associates. Meanwhile, 64% of shoppers would be willing to purchase more merchandise if they received better customer service and 52% value retailers who use technology to make the in-store experience more efficient.

Other findings include:

  • Retailers can recover 66% of out-of-stock incidents by offering shoppers an immediate discount.
  • Nearly eight in 10 respondents are willing to share some level of information with retailers. But, retailers rank low on the list of institutions that shoppers trust with personal data as only 5% reported they completely trusted retailers.
  • Sixty-four percent of shoppers value retailers who give the flexibility to control how personal information is used to tailor experiences.

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