We’ve had a lot of feedback from professionals in the industry that there is a real grey area between the old cut levels and the new indexes and we know that it may be tricky to understand.
So, we’ve created this brief guide to help demystify the new standards, understand how to check the protection levels and ultimately ensure you are keeping hands safe.
The cut level 1 to level 5 for gloves you are familiar with hearing, originates from this standard, and it’s based up the Coupe or rotating blade test.
Every rotation of the blade equates to an index and as the number of indexes increase before the penetration of the blade through the glove the higher the rating it will be awarded.
The coupe test measures the number of rotations of a blade before penetrating the glove. The more rotations, the higher the rating that will be awarded.
|Circular blade cut resistance (index)
The weakness with the Coupe test is:
- Exposure to a rotating blade is not typical of the cut risk for most operatives on sites.
- The integrity of the blade is not maintained as it progressively becomes blunter as the number of rotations increases.
- There is no differentiation in ratings between a glove that performs to 20 rotations and, say, 60 rotations.
This is the new requirement for a straight blade cut test – your indicator to this rating is the 5th digit (which is a letter).
The resistance rating of a glove with this test is based upon the level of pressure applied to a straight blade (measured in Newtons) before penetration.
|Straight blade cut resistance (newtons)
This testing contrasts to theCoupe test in that:
- A straight edge is closer to the typical character of cut risk encountered for most operatives
- The blade is replaced with every test
EN388:2003 VS EN388:2016
Picture it like decimalisation, where we transitioned from pounds, shillings and pennies to pounds and pence. There is not exactly any correlation between the 2 cut standards, as the tests are very different.
Be aware of the ‘old money’ (aka Cut Levels 1-5) that are still around in gloves.
The 5th letter is your safest guide to ensure your hands are protected.
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