Safety Standards

EN 388 Mechanical Test

The European Standard EN388 covers the test requirements for safety gloves that are sold as protection against mechanical risks. 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.

Te EN388 Standard requires gloves to be scored on a scale of 1 to 5 for blade cut resistance (with 5 being the highest score) and 1 to 4 for abrasion resistance, tear resistance and puncture resistance. Te test results will vary according to the fibres, materials, stitching and coating used to make a particular glove.

EN 407 Heat Test

Heat resistant gloves are rated according to EN 407. EN 407 ratings have 6 numbers, and each shows the glove’s resistant to a certain type of hazard.

  1. Resistance to flammability – Te material is stretched and lit with a gas flame. Te flame is held against the material for 15 seconds. Afer the gas flame is distinguished, the length of time is measured for how long the material either glows or burns.
  2. Resistance to contact heat – Te material is exposed to temperatures between +100°C and +500°C for 15 seconds. Te length of time is then measured for how long it takes the material on the inside of the glove to increase by 10°C from the starting temperature (approx. 25°C).
  3. Resistance to convective heat – Te amount of time is measured for the heat from a gas flame to increase the temperature of the glove’s inside material by 24°C.
  4. Resistance to radiant heat – Tis is tested by measuring how long the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat from a radiant heat source.
  5. Resistance to small splashes of molten metal – Te test is based on the total number of drops of molten metal required to increase the temperature by 40°C between the inside of the glove and the skin.
  6. Resistance to large splashes of molten metal – Te test measures how much molten metal is required to damage material inside the glove.

European Regulation 10/2011 applies to all plastic articles or materials supplied in the EU which are intended to come into contact with food. This includes packaging that touches food and items in contact with foodstuffs during processing, such as ‘food safe’ gloves.

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for ensuring the public is protected against chemicals that might transfer onto food from materials they come into contact with, for example packaging and utensils. It carries out research and surveillance and uses the result of this to help enforce controls.

EN 511 cold protection Test

The EN511 test is a guide for protection against cold.

  1. Resistance to convective cold (performance level 0 – 4)
  2. Resistance to contact cold (performance level 0 – 4)
  3. Permeability by water (0 or 1)

Convective cold resistance is based on the thermal insulation properties of the
glove which are obtained by measuring the transfer of cold via convection.
Contact cold resistance is based on the thermal resistance of the glove material
when exposed to contact with a cold object.

Water impermeability:

  • 0 = water penetration afer 30 minutes of exposure
  • 1 = no water penetration