27 August 2015

Glove Cut Types And Protection Levels


A cut happens when the skin’s surface is penetrated by something sharp or pointed. Depending on your industry type, your workers may be at risk of one or more kinds of cuts. You will therefore need to identify all of the cut risks they face before you can confidently select a suitably protective glove.

  1 2 3 4 5
Abrasion resistance (cycles) 100 500 2000 8000  
Blade cut resistance 1.2 2.5 5 10 20
Tear resistance (Newtons) 10 25 50 75  
Puncture resistance (Newtons) 20 60 100 150  

The blade cut is probably the most common risk as it is caused by the slipping and slicing motion of a sharp edge. This makes it an occupational hazard for any worker using blades, knives, box cutters and chisels, for example. If the risk is high, you’ll need a glove with a suitably high level of blade resistance. Under EN388, a glove’s blade resistance is tested by moving a circular rotating blade, under pressure from a standard weight, over the surface of samples of the material being tested. (If several materials will be used together to make a glove the test samples will be made up of the assembled materials to measure the resistance of the finished article.) The test results are given in terms of the average number of cycles it takes for the blade to cut through the samples. A maximum score of 5 is given for an average of 20 cycles.

An abrasive cut is caused when the protective barrier provided by a safety glove is breached following repeated rubbing against sharp or jagged materials. High risk activities – such as handling sheet metal – will therefore require gloves with a high abrasion resistance. Under the EN388 abrasion resistance test, samples of the glove material under test are subjected to circular sweeps with a fixed head covered with a very abrasive material to see how many cycles it takes, on average, to rub through the material. To achieve the maximum score of 4, the material must withstand an average of 8000 cycles.

A puncture cut is the result of a sudden impact from a pointed object, which may be a sharp but light object – such as a needle – or a sharp and heavy object, such as the jagged edge of a metal sheet. The puncture resistance of the material used to make a glove is measured by taking a standard, rounded point and pushing it through the sample material (or assembled materials) at a fixed speed but with different levels of force. The lowest of four test results is used to arrive at the final score. The material must be able to withstand a force of 150 Newtons to achieve the maximum score of 4.

The fourth EN388 test measures the glove material’s resistance to tearing. It achieves this by clamping samples of the material in the jaws of a strength testing machine and moving them apart to see how much force is needed to tear it. This gives you another indication of the overall strength of the glove, as even the lowest tear resistance score of 1 still means that it requires an average force of 10 Newtons to pull it apart.

At TraffiGlove we understand that workers face constant danger at work which is why all our gloves are rigorously tested to ensure safety. Contact us here or call on +44 (0) 1344 207090 for more information.

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