EN 388:2016 + A1: 2018 – Protective Gloves Standard

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EN 388:2016 + A1: 2018 – Protective Gloves Standard

protective gloves standard

When it comes to protecting your hands from dangerous environmental hazards, EN 388:2016+A1:2018 is the standard to trust. Protective gloves are essential when working with sharp objects. These gloves provide protection against abrasion, tear, puncture, and impact. The European Standard specifies the requirements for quality protective gloves, test methods to ensure their effectiveness, marking that indicates their compliance, and information on how to use them. With this standard, you can be confident that your hands will be safeguarded from potential harm.

What is EN 388:2016+A1:2018 mean?

EN 388:2016+A1:2018 is the most recent version of the European safety standard for protective gloves against mechanical risks. The standard is a major update to the EN 388:2003 edition and was published as an amendment to EN 388:2016 in December 2018.

en 388

The main purpose of the standard is to ensure the safety of workers who wear protective gloves when working with hazardous materials, chemicals, and machinery. The standard outlines the performance requirements for protective gloves against mechanical risks, such as cuts, abrasions, and punctures.

The EN 388:2016+A1:2018 standard includes five performance levels which must be met in order for protective gloves to be deemed ‘safe’. These performance levels are:

1. Abrasion resistance – this measures the abrasion resistance of the glove material.

2. Cut resistance – this measures the cut resistance of the glove material.

3. Tear resistance – this measures the tear resistance of the glove material.

4. Puncture resistance – this measures the puncture resistance of the glove material.

5. Impact resistance – this measures the impact resistance of the glove material.

The EN 388:2016+A1:2018 standard also includes provisions for marking and labeling of gloves, as well as instructions for use and maintenance. This ensures that workers are aware of the safety features of the gloves they are wearing and how to use them correctly.

EN 388 is also recognized standard for arm protection that is used to measure the performance of protective gloves. This standard was created to provide a consistent system for assessing the protective properties of gloves and other protection for the user’s arms. 

EN 388:2016 markings explained

en 388 2016

Example code under pictogram

Performance levels

What the test is for

3

1-4

Abrasion resistance

4

1-5

Cut resistance (Coupe Test)

4

1-4

Tear resistance

3

1-4

Puncture resistance

E

A-F

Cut resistance (EN ISO 13997)

P

P

Impact protection (EN 13594)

The EN 388:2016 marking system consists of six elements, each of which is represented by a single character or symbol. The first four elements represent the mechanical protection of the gloves, while the fifth and sixth element is an optional letter that indicates the impact-resistant properties and impact protection of the gloves.

The first element is the abrasion resistance, denoted by a number from 0-4. A level of 0 indicates the lowest level of abrasion resistance, while a level of 4 indicates the highest.

The second element is the circular blade cut resistance, denoted by a number from 0-5. Again, a level of 0 indicates the lowest level of resistance, while a level of 5 indicates the highest.

The third element is the tear resistance, denoted by a number from 0-4. Again, a level of 0 indicates the lowest level of resistance, while a level of 4 indicates the highest.

The fourth element is the puncture resistance, denoted by a number from 0-4. Again, a level of 0 indicates the lowest level of resistance, while a level of 4 indicates the highest.

The fifth character (a letter) indicates the resistance of the glove to a straight cut. This is tested by measuring the amount of force required to cut the glove with a straight blade. a level of A-F. A higher letter indicates greater resistance.

The last element is an optional letter that indicates the impact-resistant properties of the gloves. This letter is denoted by an ‘P’ and indicates that the gloves meet the impact-resistant requirements of EN 388:2016+A1:2018.

Safety gloves testing method according to EN 388:2016

Abrasion resistance

To test a glove’s abrasion resistance according to EN388:2016, the glove’s material is subjected to abrasion by sandpaper under a determined amount of pressure. The protection level is then indicated on a scale of 1 to 4 depending on the number of turns of the sandpaper until a hole appears in the material. The higher the number, the better the abrasion resistance.

To ensure the best possible protection for workers, gloves must meet the abrasion resistance requirements of EN388:2016. This testing method can help employers ensure that the safety gloves they provide are of the highest quality and can stand up to the rigors of the job.

Turns

Rating

8000

4

2000

3

500

2

100

1

<100

0

Cut resistance

Cut resistance is an important aspect of safety gloves, as it helps protect the user from sharp edges and other hazards that can cause serious injury or even death. The EN 388:2016 standard sets out a testing method for cut resistance, known as the coupe test. This test involves a rotating circular blade moving horizontally to-and-fro across a fabric sample, with a fixed force of 5 Newtons applied from above. The successful completion of the test is indicated when the blade has broken through the sample material, and a resulting index value has been recorded..

The protection level is indicated by a number between 1 and 5, when mark with 5 indicating the highest level of cut protection. A higher number means that the fabric will resist more damage from cuts and tears. The number needed to cut through the sample is determined by the cycle count needed to cut through the sample, as well as how much wear and tear has been put on the blade.This provides a reliable indication of the level of cut protection offered by a given pair of safety gloves. 

It is important to note that the EN 388:2016 standard does not provide any guidelines for how often safety gloves should be tested for cut resistance, so it is up to individual companies and organizations to decide on an appropriate testing frequency. Furthermore, the standard does not provide any guidance on how to select the right type of gloves for a particular task – this selection should be based on factors such as the level of cut protection needed, the type of material being cut, and the risks of injury associated with the task. 

Factor

Rating

20.0

5

10.0

4

5.0

3

2.5

2

1.2

1

<1.2

0

Tear resistance

The tear resistance test is carried out by clamping four specimens of the material from the palm of the glove into the jaws of a standard tensile strength testing machine. The machine moves the jaws at a constant speed, measuring the force to tear the material. For single materials, the performance level is determined by how well the material performs in all four tests. For gloves made from multiple layers, each layer is tested individually and performance is based on the lowest individual result of the most tear-resistant material.

EN 388:2016+A1:2018 specifies four different performance levels for tear resistance, ranging from level 1 (10N to 25N peak force) to level 4 (at least 75N). The performance levels are indicated by numbers between 1 and 4, with 4 indicating the strongest level of tear resistance.

Newtons

Rating

75

4

50

3

25

2

10

1

<10

0

Puncture resistance

EN 388:2016, the European standard for testing the protective capabilities of gloves, provides a testing method for puncture resistance. The puncture resistance test is based on the ability of the glove to withstand the force of a standard, rounded stylus that is pushed 50mm into the specimen at a constant speed of 100mm/min using a compression test machine. The maximum resistance force is then recorded and used to determine the puncture resistance level of the glove. 

According to EN 388, performance levels are based on the lowest of four test results, ranging from level 1 (20N-60N) to level 4 (150N or more). The level of protection is indicated by a number between 1 and 4, where 4 indicates the strongest material. Depending on the number, different materials will be suitable for that level of protection.

For gloves made from composite or specialised materials and intended for specialist applications, such as protection against hypodermic needles, the standard puncture test stylus would be too thick. In such cases, specialised styli and test machines should be used to accurately assess the level of protection provided by the gloves. 

Newtons

Rating

150

4

100

3

60

2

20

1

<20

0

ISO cut resistance

The Cut Resistance (EN ISO 13997) test, also known as the TDM (Trouser-Dick-Meyer) test, is one of the tests included in the EN 388:2016 standard. This test evaluates the resistance of the safety gloves to cuts caused by sharp objects such as knives, scissors, and blades.

The TDM test uses a knife to cut the sample material at a constant speed with increasing force until it breaks through. With this method, you can easily determine the minimum amount of force required to cut your sample material at a thickness of 20mm.

Compared to the coupe test that was used for EN 388:2003, the TDM test offers a more accurate specification in terms of cut resistance during work that includes different impact-based hazards. The test result is given by a letter from A to F, where F indicates the highest level of protection.

Factor

Rating

≥ 30

F

≥ 22

E

≥ 15

D

≥ 10

C

≥ 5

B

≥ 2

A

Impact protection

The EN 388:2016+A1:2018 standard covers a wide range of tests for gloves, and one of the new tests included in the updated version of the standard is the impact resistance test. This test is now a mandatory requirement for gloves that incorporate specific impact-resistant properties.

The impact resistance test is designed to ensure that gloves provide appropriate protection against impact. It involves cutting the gloves open, flattening them out, and then securing them over a domed anvil. Four tests are carried out on specimens of each protection area taken from four gloves.

Gloves must meet the requirement of level 1 of EN 13594:2015 to pass the test – this states that the mean transmitted force shall be ≤7.0kN with no single results greater than ≤9.0kN.If the glove has been tested to ensure its safety in the event of an impact, a P will be displayed next to the letter 6 on the label. If there is no mark as P, then it means no impact protection is claimed.

How to choose the right safety glove for your work?

pvc gloves 04 2

When choosing a safety glove, it’s important to consider the type of job you’re doing, the environment you’re working in, and the type of protection you require. The most common safety gloves are made from leather, cotton, synthetic, or rubber materials. Each type has its unique benefits and limitations, so choosing the suitable material for the job is essential.

Leather gloves are typically the most durable, providing excellent protection from cuts, abrasions, and punctures. They can be more expensive than other types of gloves, but they’re also highly breathable and offer greater flexibility than other materials. Cotton gloves are more affordable than leather, but they don’t provide the same level of protection. Synthetic gloves are often more breathable than cotton ones and provide a higher level of protection, but they’re not as durable as leather gloves. Cut resistant gloves offer the highest level of protection and are the most expensive.

When selecting safety gloves, you should also consider the protective gloves’ size, fit, and comfort. Protective glove sizes usually range from extra-small to extra-large, so it’s important to measure your hand before buying a pair. The gloves should fit snugly but not restrict your movement. Make sure that your gloves are designed to be comfortable and supportive all day long.

Finally, selecting a glove that meets the necessary safety standards for your job is important. Some gloves may be certified for certain industries or tasks, such as welding, machinery, or chemical handling. You must choose gloves that are certified EN388  for your job, as they can provide extra protection.

What are the cut resistant gloves standards?

Cut-resistant gloves are an essential part of PPE to protect workers’ hands from sharp objects, such as knives and blades, that can cause serious lacerations. To ensure that these gloves provide the necessary protection, it is important to adhere to the standards.

The EN 388 Standard for cut resistant Gloves is a European standard that evaluates the performance of protective gloves against mechanical hazards such as cuts, abrasion, puncture, and impact. This standard also uses a rating system of Levels 0-5, with Level 5 providing the highest level of protection.

The ANSI/ISEA 105 Standard for Cut-Resistant Gloves is a USA comprehensive system that evaluates the performance of various types of cut-resistant gloves. The standard uses a rating system of Levels 0-5, with Level 5 providing the highest level of protection. The standard includes criteria such as abrasion resistance, cut resistance, puncture resistance, and impact resistance.

Conclusion

EN 388:2016 is an important standard for protective gloves and provides a comprehensive evaluation criterion to ensure the safety of workers and consumers in a wide range of workplace environments. It is a comprehensive and well-rounded standard that is designed to protect those who use it from potential harm and injury. As such, it is important for businesses and individuals to be aware of and adhere to this standard when purchasing or using protective gloves.

Arlen Wang

Arlen Wang

Arlen wang is the author of Anbu safety, he is the manager and co-founder of the Anbu Safety network. He has been in anbu safety company since 2008, with a working knowledge of personal protective equipment, and several unique skills related to the PPE industry.

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