EN 388: 2016 is the European Standard governing gloves that provide protection against mechanical risks.
The Standard documents all of the requirements for safety gloves, including the test methods, the marking system and the information to be supplied by work glove manufacturers.
It is generally accepted that the majority of occupational hand injuries are caused by cuts and abrasions, with most of the more serious injuries due to cuts. The EN 388: 2016 Standard requires gloves to be scored on a scale of 1 to 5 for blade cut resistance and 1 to 4 for abrasion resistance, tear resistance and puncture resistance. The EN388 gloves test results will vary according to the fibres, materials, stitching and coating used to make a particular glove.
All work gloves which are tested for cut resistance using the coup blade method, which blunts the blade during the EN388 glove standard test, are also required to undergo additional testing using the EN ISO 13997 cut method. Currently there are 6 cut levels defined on the ISO cut method, ranging from A - F, and represent the minimum force required to cut the sample material at a measured length of 20mm. The EN388 glove standard result is measured in Newtons and grams.