GLOVE STANDARDS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
WHAT ARE THE AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND OCCUPATIONAL PROTECTIVE GLOVES STANDARDS?
The AS/NZS 2161:2005 is the overall standard for New Zealand occupational protective gloves.
But because the EN (European Union) testing standards are so comprehensive, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region have adopted them. As a result, a number of New Zealand workplace safety standards are identical to those used in Europe (excepting recent changes from November 2016).
For example, the European standard EN420 is the same as AS/NZS2161.2:1. This standard sets out the requirements for all occupational safety gloves (except for electrical and medical gloves).
The CE marking is a conformity mark, which certifies that a particular product has met the European Union's rigorous consumer, safety and environmental requirements. All manufacturers of safety gloves sold in the EU must meet these requirements, including testing methods and marking rules.
A GUIDE TO THE RATINGS AND PICTOGRAMS USED IN THE EN STANDARDS:
EN420 - General requirements
This standard defines the general requirements for protective gloves in terms of construction, fitness of purpose, safety, etc. The pictogram indicates that the user has to consult the 'instructions for use'.
EN388 - Mechanical protection
Mechanical risk is the risk caused by abrasion, blade cut, tear and puncture to the wearer of the glove. Every glove is tested for its resistance against each of these risks and is given a numerical rating for each. The higher the number, the better the performance of the glove. The numbers under the shield give the glove's test ratings for its mechanical protection properties of abrasion resistance, cut resistance, tear resistance and puncture resistance. The pictogram above shows a EN rationg of 4544, the highest possible rating. The table below how the ratings are arrived at:
Abrasion resistance (number of cycles before an abrader breaks through the glove fabric)
Blade cut resistance (index based on the number of cycles it takes a circular blade to cut through the test sample)
Tear resistance (the amount of force, in newtons, required to tear the sample)
Puncture resistance (the amount of force, in newtons, required to pierce the sample with a standard-sized stylus)
WHAT ABOUT THE RECENT CHANGES TO THE EN TESTING REGIME?
From 30 November 2016 some changes have been introduced to the EN regime, which appear as two extra symbols added below the pictogram shield. These show the results of an additional test for cut resistance and a test for impact resistance.
The fifth symbol indicates the result of the ISO 13997 TDM cut resistance test. This test uses a sliding blade instead of the rotating circular blade of the existing Coupe test. The result of the TDM test is given in Newtons (N) and the glove is assigned a cut protection class on the basis of this value.
TDM-100 Test Ratings
The sixth symbol gives the result of a test for impact resistance, expressed as pass (P) or fail (F).
It is important to note that, although the EN 388 standard has been adopted outside of the EU, including in New Zealand and Australia, these recent changes only apply within the EU until the new standard has been formally adopted by other countries. And even within the EU the existing four-digit EN 388 code will remain valid for as long as the test certification of the product is current.
THEN THERE ARE A SERIES OF ADDITIONAL TESTS FOR SPECIALISED GLOVES:
Protection from Impact Cut is tested for by dropping a metal blade weighing 1050g onto the glove from a height of 150mm. Performance for this test is rated as either Pass or Fail.
The Static Electricity test indicates a volume resistivity threshold between 106 and 109 Ω cm. A glove meeting this criterion can reduce the risk of electrostatic discharges i.e. static sparks, a property useful in clean room areas and potentially flammable atmospheres. Performance for this test is rated as either Pass or Fail.
EN374 - Chemical and/or micro-organism protection
AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) for liquid penetration. A high index number indicates lower performance and a low index number indicates higher performance).
Breakthrough time > 30 minutes for at least three chemicals from this list (XYZ represent the code letters for three of these chemicals for which the glove obtained > 30 minutes breakthrough time).
E. Carbon disulphide
I. Ethyl acetate
K. Sodium hydroxide 40%
L. Sulphuric acid 96%
Chemical resistance against chemicals of choice (AQL 4secs
D. Resistance to radiant heat (heat transfer delay)
E. Resistance to small splashes of molten metal (number drops)
F. Resistance to large splashes of molten metal (mass)
EN381-7 — Chainsaw Gloves and Hand Protectors
Items which resist cutting at a chain speed of 16 m/s (metres per second) are classified as class 0, which is the typical level selected for hand protectors, gloves, upper body protectors and gaiters. Chainsaw protective products of class 1 are tested at a chainsaw chain speed of) 20 m/s.
CHAINSAW PROTECTION CLASSIFICATION
Class Max Chain Speed (m/s)
EN511 — Cold protection
A. Resistance to convective cold
Thermal insulation ITR in m2 °C/W
I < 0.10
Re-published with the approval of ESKO SAFETY