Hand Protection

Protective gloves are the first and foremost line of defence when working with anything that could result in hand injury and with fine handling so important in our day to day lives – protection for the hands is of the utmost importance.

EN 388:2016 - Standard for Gloves Protecting Against Mechanical Risks.

EN388 2016

Cuts and lacerations are the most common type of hand injury, meaning it is critical to wear the correct safety glove for the task at hand. EN 388 is a widely-recognised standard which safety gloves are commonly tested against across a huge range of industries.

EN388:2016 have been revised which means the way that gloves are now tested have changed. Cut resistance will now be measured by either the coupe test or by the ISO test in the event of blade blunting, therefore products with higher levels of cut protection can be now identified.

By default, the cut level will be rated 1 – 5 , however if blunting occurs during the ‘Coup Blade Cut Test’ then the results of the new TDM cut test will be shown from A-F and now the ‘Coup Blade Cut Test’ value will be marked as X.

Abrasion Test (Rated 1-4)

  • A sample of material is fitted to a fixed size and weight and is moved in an elliptical motion over a table covered with abrasion paper.
  • The performance level of the glove is measured by the number of abrasion cycles required to ‘hole’ the material.

Cut Test (Rated 1-5))

  • A rotating circular blade moves horizontally back and forth across a fabric sample with a fixed force of 5 Newton’s (N) applied from above.
  • This result is determined by the cycle count needed to cut through the sample and degree of wear and tear on the blade used.

Tear Test (Rated 1-4)

  • Four samples from the palm of the glove are clamped in a standard tensile strength testing machine to which the jaws move apart at a speed of 100mm per minute.
  • Performance levels range from 1 (resistance of peak force between 10N and 25N) to 4 (tear strength is at least 75N).

Puncture Test (Rated 1-4)

  • A machine pushes a rounded stylus 50mm into the sample cut from the palm of the glove at a speed of 100mm per minute.
  • Levels range from 1 (puncture resistance force of between 20N and 60N) to 4 (measured resistance of at least 150N). These levels are decided by the lowest of four test results.

Impact Test (Rated “P”)

  • The impact protective back-of-hand knuckle material is placed on a domed block of metal or anvil
  • To pass the test, the transmitted force must be 7 kilonewtons or less (with no single result great than 9 kilonewtons) If a glove passes,
  • If a glove passes, the final letter on the EN388 pictogram will show ‘P’

Disclaimer – some manufacturers are yet to update to new EN standards and will still have the old rating.

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