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Glove standards

EN 420 – General requirements

Dictates general conditions such as pH and chrome VI content of leather, concision of protein in latex, electrostatic properties, glove sizing and finger dexterity.

EN 388:2003 – Protection against mechanical risk

Assesses a glove’s ability to protect against mechanical hazards such as cutting. A series of four tests measures the glove’s resistance to abrasion (A), blade cutting (B), tearing (C) and puncture (D).

EN 374:2003 – Protection from chemicals and/or micro-organisms
Assesses a glove’s ability to protect against chemicals and/or micro-organisms in terms of penetration, permeation and minimum liquid proof section.
Penetration – It 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 non-molecular level.
Permeation - 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.
Minimum liquid proof section – It shall be at least equal to the minimum length of the gloves specified in EN 420.
The “chemical resistance” glove pictogram must be accompanied by a minimum 3-digit code. This code refers to the code letters of the chemicals (from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals) for which a breakthrough time of at least 30’ has been obtained
A – Methanol
B – Acetone
C – Acetonitrile
D – Dichloromethane
E – Carbone disulphide
F – Toluene
G – Diethylamine
H – Tetrahydrofurane
I – Ethyl acetate
J – n-Heptane
K – Sodium hydroxide 40%
L – Sulphuric acid 96%

 low chemical resistance or waterproof gloves
Dictates “low chemical resistance” or “waterproof” glove when glove does not achieve breakthrough time of at least 30’ against at least three chemicals from the list above but which comply with the penetration test

EN 407:2004 – Protection against thermal hazards

Indicates glove’s performance levels on six thermal tests: burning behavior (A), contact heat resistance (B), convective heat resistance (C), radiant heat resistance (D), resistance to small splashes of molten metal (E), resistance to large quantities of molten metal (F).

EN 511:2006 – Protection against cold

The standard includes three specific tests for assessing thermal insulation: convective cold (A), contact cold (B) and water penetration (C).

EN 659:2003 – Protective gloves for fire fighters

This standard indicates the minimum performance requirements and test methods for fire fighters protective gloves. It applies only to gloves which protect hands during normal fire-fighting including search and rescue operations. This norm makes reference to EN 420 (general requirements), EN 388 (mechanical risks) and EN 407 (thermal risks). These gloves are not intended for deliberate handling of liquid chemicals but provide some protection against accidental contact with chemicals. Protective gloves for special operations within fire-fighting service are excluded from the scope of this standard.

EN 60903:2003 – Protection against live electrical working

The standard was developed for testing gloves intended to protect against high voltages. It includes six classes of protection (referenced 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4) across a range of AC and DC voltages. The construction, thickness and test voltage combine to give the class compliance. To maintain compliance gloves must be inspected and/or re-tested every 6 months.
EN 12477:2001 – Protection in welding
Based on the tests in EN 388, EN 407 and EN 420 there are two types of gloves: Type A and Type B. Type B gloves are recommended when high dexterity is required as for TIG welding. Type A gloves are intended for other more general welding processes.

EN 1082-1 – Protection against cut

Gloves and arm guards protecting against cuts and stabs by hand knives – Part 1 chainmail gloves and arm guard. They are tested at a power of 2.45 joules (falling weight of 1000g at a height of 250mm).

EN 10819 – Protection against vibrations
Based on a complex test procedure to assess a glove’s performance in attenuating transmitted vibrations. The glove shall not enhance vibrations with a moderately strong frequency (31.5Hz to 200Hz). At high frequency (200Hz – 1250Hz) the glove shall reduce the level of vibration by 40%.