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Focus on quality

From the latest innovative glove materials and manufacturing processes to our highly visual packaging and comprehensive technical information; quality and consistency are key to our continued success. We select the most appropriate materials (such as cut resistant yarns to selected natural leathers) to help us acheive the required level of performance for a specific task; whether that’s improved breathability, increased comfort or maintaining performance after washing.

Understanding Glove Standards

Gloves are designed to protect hands and forearms from cuts, abrasions, burns, cold, puncture wounds, vibration, skin contact with hazardous chemicals and some electrical shocks. The nature of the hazard, the associated risk and the type of operation involved will affect the selection of gloves and it is essential that gloves are chosen that are designed for the specific application.

Gloves designed to protect against one hazard may not protect against a different one even though they may appear similar. So to support this wide range of applications CEN (The European Standards body) has developed a series of standards. Most European standards concerning protective gloves are represented by a shield-shaped pictogram (facing risk protection symbol) associated with a list of performance levels obtained at one or several tests in laboratory. Levels range from 0 to 4, 5 or 6, zero (0) being an insufficient result in regards to the standard criteria and 4, 5 or 6 the higher level so the more effective one. A “X” in a test result means that this test is not feasible for this PPE, or that it has not been carried out. Only one test result superior to 0 in one standard is sufficient for the manufacturer to require the conformity for this standard.

From Category II, the performance levels with the corresponding pictogram must be shown on the glove, instructions and packaging.

Abrasion (Performance Index 0-4)
Circular Blade Cut* (Coupe) (Performance Index 0-5)
Tear (Performance Index 0-4)
Puncture (Performance Index 0-4)
Straight Blade Cut (Performance Index A-F)
Impact (If submitted & passed P)

Where 1 indicates the lowest performance. X that the test was not performed or not possible. A 0 rating indicates that during the test level 1 was not reached. *Gloves should not be used when working with serrated blades.

New tests

The original EN388:2003 standard covered tests for various areas of mechanical risk. In the case of cut resistance a measurement was taken of the number of cycles a circular blade takes to cut through a specimen fabric. A new version of the mechanical standard EN388:2016 was finalised and released in 2017. The main differences include:

  • Introduction of a Straight Blade test
    (With additional letter A-F added under the symbol)
  • New rating category for Impact
    (With additional letter P added under the symbol).
  • New abrasive paper used on the Abrasion test
    (Though this does not effect how we understand the data).

Straight blade testing method

The new test, incorporated from EN ISO 13997:1999, is carried out as follows:

  • A straight blade is drawn across specimen fabric.
  • A contact load applied to the blade, sufficient to make a cut-through of the fabric over a 20mm length.
  • The test measures the average load (from 20+ cuts) to achieve point of cut-through.

New markings

The new standard consists of the hammer symbol, the index value for four original resistance ratings; plus the new letters for the straight cut test and impact test.

All gloves must comply with EN 420 General Requirements for Gloves. This standard includes tests for glove dimensions, dexterity (minimum 0, maximum 5) and allergens. For example, leather gloves are required to have a chromium VI content less than the limit of detection (max 10mg/kg).

Gloves are required to be neutral with respect to skin contact. Instructions for use must be enclosed with every glove and must contain information about storage and transport, cleaning, handling and disposal. Electrical insulating and medical disposable gloves are exempt.


Penetration Penetration is the movement of a chemical and/or micro-organism through porous materials, seams, pinholes or other imperfections in a protective glove material at a nonmolecular level.

The rubber and plastic films in gloves do not always act as barriers to liquids. Sometimes they can act as sponges, soaking up the liquids and holding them against the skin. It is therefore necessary to measure breakthrough times, or the time taken for the hazardous liquid to come in contact with the skin.


Penetration is the movement of a chemical and/or microorganism through porous materials, seams, pinholes or other imperfections in a protective glove material at a non-molecular level.

A glove shall not leak when tested to an air and/or water leak test, and shall be tested and inspected in compliance with the Acceptable Quality Level (AQL).

Level 3  <0.65 G1
Level 2  <1.5 S4
Level 1  <4.0 G1

The ‘Chemical resistant’ glove pictogram must be accompanied by a 3-digit code. This code refers to the code letters of 3 chemicals (from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals), for which a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes has been obtained.

A Methanol 67-56-1 Primary alcohol
B Acetone 67-64-1 Ketone
C Acetonitrile 75-05-8 Nitrile Compound
D Dichloromethane 75-09-2 Chlorinated paraffin
E Carbone disulphide 75-15-0 Sulphur containing
organic compound
F Toluene 108-88-3 Aromatic hydrocarbon
G Diethylamine 109-89-7 Amine
H Tetrahydrofurane 109-99-9 Heterocyclic and
ether compound
I Ethyl acetate 141-78-6 Ester
J n-Heptane 142-82-5 Saturated hydrocarbon
K Sodium hydroxide 40% 1310-73-2 Inorganic base
L Sulphuric acid 96% 7664-93-9 Inorganic
M Nitric Acid 65% 7697-37-2 Inorganic mineral acid, oxidising
N Acetic Acid 99% 64-19-7 Organic acid
O Ammonia 25% 1336-21-6 Organic base
P Hydrogen Peroxide 30% 7722-84-1 Peroxide
S Hydrofluoric Acid 40% 7664-39-3 Inorganic mineral acid
T Formaldehyde 37% 50-00-0 Aldehyde

Each chemical tested is classified in terms of breakthrough time (performance level 0 to 6).

Class 1 – 1 ≥10 minutes Class 4 – ≥ 120 minutes
Class 2 – 2 ≥ 30 minutes Class 5 – ≥ 240 minutes
Class 3 –  ≥ 60 minutes Class 6 – ≥ 480 minutes

The ‘Low Chemical resistant’ or ‘Waterproof ’ glove pictogram is to be used for those gloves that do not achieve a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes against at least three chemicals from the defined list, but which comply with the Penetration test.

The ‘micro-organism’ pictogram is to be used when the glove conforms to at least a performance level 2 for the Penetration test.

Warning: The chemical data information does not necessarily reflect the actual duration in the workplace.

This indicates the period a material keeps on burning or glowing after the removal of the flame from the test specimen. The seams of the protective glove must not dissolve after a burning period of 15 seconds.

This measures the heat passing through to the inside of the glove, which cannot rise more than 10°C in 15 seconds.

This informs about the period a protective glove can delay the heat transmission of a flame. A performance level is only shown if Level 3 or 4 for burning behaviour is achieved.

This measures the time taken for the temperature inside the glove to rise 24°C when exposed to radiant heat density of 20kw/m2. A performance level is only shown if Level 3 or 4 for burning behaviour is achieved.

This indicates the number of splashes of liquid metal required to heat the inner side of the glove by 40°C. A performance level is only shown if Level 3 or 4 for burning behaviour is achieved.

Indicates the amount of liquid metal required to breach a PVC foil (which simulates the human skin) that is clamped behind the protective glove. A performance level is only shown if Level 3 or 4 for burning behaviour is achieved.

Burning behaviour (Performance Index 0-4)
Contact heat (Performance Index 0-4)
Convective heat (Performance Index 0-4)
Radiant heat (Performance Index 0-4)
Small drops of molten metal (Performance Index 0-4)
Large quantities of molten metal (Performance Index 0-4)

Where 1 indicates the lowest performance. X that the test was not performed or not possible. A 0 rating indicates that during the test level 1 was not reached.
This table gives an indication of what level of contact heat a glove will stand for 15 seconds: LEVEL 1 – 100°c, LEVEL 2 – 250°c , LEVEL 3 – 350°c, LEVEL 4 – 450°c

EN 1149 is a garment norm and was not conceived especially for gloves. Therefore, before the antistatic gloves are used, the working conditions must be correctly described and be compared with the performance of antistatic protective gloves.


EN 1149-1 Surface resistance Materials that are not surface conductive
EN 1149-2 Contact resistance  Test method for the measurement of the electrical resistance through a material (vertical resistance)
EN 1149-3 Discharge All materials that are not surface conductive
EN 1149-4 Garment test No concept is available yet


This standard confirms the basic requirements for materials which come in contact with or damage component parts that are sensitive to electrostatic discharges (ESD). These requirements include protective clothing along with protective gloves.


1, Discharge test by measurement of the voltage of a charge condenser cage over the worn glove of the earth tester from U = 1000V to U(t) = 100V in T< = 2 seconds.

2, Resistance requirements; worn gloves. Resistance to a grounding point Rg 7.5 x 105 < = Rg < = 1 x1012.

Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome is caused by the emitted vibrations of hand held or hand operated machines or devices..

The human body is more sensitive to frequencies between 2 and 200hz than to higher frequencies.

The highest vibration values of hand held vibration emitting machines are up to 200hz. EN 10819 demands a reduction of a minimum of 40% where the frequency is over 200hz.

To obtain compliance with EN60903, all gloves must be tested to the relevant voltage in the table as shown. The construction, thickness and test voltage combine to give the class compliance. To maintain class compliance, gloves must be inspected and/or re-tested every six months.

00 ≤ 500 volts 2,500 volts
0 ≤ 1,000 volts 5,000 volts
1 ≤ 7,500 volts 10,000 volts
2 ≤ 17,000 volts 20,000 volts
3 ≤ 26,500 volts 30,000 volts
4 ≤ 36,000 volts 40,000 volts

Convective cold is climatic or industrial cold transmitted through convection. Contact cold is climatic or industrial cold transmitted through contact. Water impermeability is tested in accordance with EN 344:1992. Water penetration should not appear less than 30 minutes after the start of the test and essentially is a pass or fail.

Convective cold (Performance Index 0-4)
Contact cold (Performance Index 0-4)
Water permeability (Performance Index 0-4)