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EN Standards Safety Gloves

If a protective glove is deemed to meet the safety requirements and is given a CE mark in an EU country, it can be exported and sold throughout the EU zone. To meet the requirements, the manufacturer has to comply with a number of EN standards. An EN standard includes demands, testing methods and requirements as to how the product is to be labelled in addition to the CE mark, and also sets out what the manufacturer’s instructions for use must contain.

EXPLANATION OF THE RISK CATEGORIES

EU regulation 2016/425 divides personal protective equipment into three categories, depending on the level of risk involved. The greater the risk to which the user is exposed, the tougher the test requirements are concerning the gloves’ protective ability and certification. Since the EU regulations are framed in general terms, European standards have been developed that specify requirements, test methods and marking instructions. 

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CE CATEGORY

European Regulation 2016/425

CE marking

Cat. I Minimal risks.
Protects users against minimal risks. The manufacturer must be able to show that the product meets the basic requirements for protective gloves, and is responsible for guaranteeing the CE marking. This applies to all protective gloves.

Cat. II Other risks.
Meets both the basic requirements and further standards that may apply to specific areas of use. The gloves must be tested by an approved laboratory and be type-approved by a notified body that issues certificates.

Cat. III Serious risks.
Includes exclusive protection against risks that may cause very serious consequences, such as death or irreversible damage to health.The gloves must be tested by an approved laboratory and be type-approved by a notified body. A further requirement is a yearly inspection of the production process and the gloves will be properly checked to ensure the right quality. The notified body’s identity code (four figures) is to be placed directly after the CE mark, i.e. CE 0123.

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EN ISO 21420:2020

General requirements and
test methods

  • The gloves must have been made so as to provide the protection they are intended for.
  • The material, seams and edges must not cause harm to the user.
  • The gloves must be easy to put on and take off.
  • The pH of the gloves should be between 3.5 and 9.5.
  • Chromium (VI) content should be below 3 mg/kg in leather gloves.
  • DMFa (Dimethylformamide) in glove containing PU should be below 1000mg/kg.
  • The manufacturer must provide a list of known allergens upon request.
  • The protective quality of the gloves must not be affected if the washing instructions are followed.
  • The gloves must allow maximum finger mobility (dexterity), given the need for protection.
  • If electrostatic properties are claimed, the gloves must be tested according to EN 16350:2014

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EN 374-2: 2014

Penetration resistance

Gloves that are to give protection against microorganisms and chemicals must be impenetrable (without holes). In the case of thin, disposable gloves, penetrability is tested by filling the glove with water or air. If the water or air leaks out of the glove is deficient.

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EN 16523-1: 2015

Resistance to chemical permeation
(replaces EN 374-3:2003)

Test method to measure the resistance ofthe PPE material to permeation by hazardous chemicals at molecular level and under continuous contact. Gloves will be classified as Type A, Type B or Type C.

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The list of chemicals on which the gloves are tested has been expanded with a further six chemicals. Increasing numbers of chemicals are used in industrial applications, and some were not covered by the previous standard.

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EN 374-4: 2013

Resistance to chemical degradation

Degradation is the deleterious change in one or more properties of a protective glove material due to contact with a chemical. Indications of degradation can be delaminating, discolouration, hardening, softening, dimensional change, loss of tensile strength, etc. It is determined by measuring the percentage change in puncture resistance of the glove material after a continuous contact for 1 hour of the external surface with the challenge test chemical. The results of the degradation test must appear in the information leaflet for all three glove types.

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EN 374-5: 2016

Protection against microorganisms

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The new standard introduces testing for protection against viruses. The previous standard covered only fungi and bacteria.

New markings on packing will indicate whether gloves protect against bacteria and fungi only, or against bacteria, fungi and viruses. The biohazard pictogram is used to mark gloves protecting from bacteria and fungi. The pictogram will be accompanied by the word ’VIRUS’ if the glove meets the requirements of the virus test method.

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EN 511:2006

Cold-related risks

Gloves giving protection against cold are tested for two different cold situations:
penetrating or convective cold (a) and contact cold (b), i.e., direct contact with cold objects. Testing resistance to permeability by water (c) is done when relevant.

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EN 5112006 Convective.pngA: Convective cold refers to the process of losing heat through the movement of air or water on the skin. This test measures the glove's thermal insulation properties when exposed to cold winds. The number indicates the protection level between 0 to 4. The highest level of protection is 4.

B: Contact cold refers to how much heat is lost through physical contact with another object such as a snow. This test measures the glove's thermal resistance when exposed to contact with a cold object with a number between 0 to 4. The highest level of protection is 4.

C: Water penetration is a test with an indication if the glove is waterproof. The number is either 0 or 1, where 1 means that there has been no water penetration. Gloves tested with a 0 rating can still have waterproof properties for less than 5 minutes.

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EN 407:2020

Thermal risks (heat and/or fire)

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Gloves marked with one of these pictograms give protection against one or more of the thermal risks. Note! The pictogram showing a flame can only be used when tested for flammability (limited flame spread). Glove performance has been tested in terms of the following risks:

  • Limited flame spread
  • Contact heat resistance
  • Convective heat resistance
  • Radiant heat resistance
  • Resistance to small splashes of molten metal
  • Resistance to large quantities of molten metal

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EN 16350: 2014

Electrostatic properties

The use of antistatic (dissipative) gloves is important in environments with hazards related to fire and/or explosion. The phenomenon to avoid is the electric potential difference between user and environment that is triggered during contact, what we colloquially call getting a ‘shock’.

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EN 388:2016 + A1:2018

Protective gloves against mechanical risks

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In the revised version of EN 388:2016, there are two cut resistance tests available. The coup method is the same as before and is used for materials that do not dull the blade. For materials that will affect the blade, e.g. most cut resistant materials, TDM test is required. In these cases, the TDM result is the real reference performance while the
coup result is only indicative and will therefore be marked with an X.

a. Abrasion resistance (level of protection 0–4)
Number of cycles required to abrade a hole using abrasive paper in a circular sample of glove material under constant pressure and motion. The highest performance level is 4, which corresponds to 8,000 cycles.

b. Cut resistance, coup test (level of protection 0–5)
This measures the number of turns required for a rotating circular knife at a constant rate to cut through the glove. The result is compared with a reference material to get an index. The highest level of protection is 5, which corresponds to an index of 20.

c. Tear resistance (level of protection 0–4)
Force required to propagate a tear in a rectangular sample of a glove with a starting incision, to a maximum force of 75N.

d. Puncture resistance (level of protection 0–4)
Measuring the amount of force required to pierce the glove with a standard sized point and at a given speed (10 cm/min).

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e. Cut resistance by ISO cut test (level of protection A–F)
Force in newtons (N) required to cut through a sample using a rectangular blade in a specified cut test machine such as Tomodynamometer (TDM). This test is optional unless the blade in Coup test becomes dull, whereupon it becomes the reference for cut resistance.

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f. Impact protection (level of protection P)
The test for protection against impact is carried out per a standard for protective gloves for bikers, EN 13594:2015. The area with protection is tested, but because of its limited surface, the area around the fingers cannot be tested using this method. The impact force is 5 J and the transmitted force must be in accordance with the highest level, in this case level 1, with an individual result of ≤ 9.0 kN and mean force ≤ 7.0 kN.

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EN 12477:2001+ A1:2005

Protective gloves for welders

This standard describes how gloves should be designed to provide hand and wrist protection in welding and similar work situations. Welding gloves shall be tested according to EN388:2016+A1:2018 and EN 407:2004.

According to test result in EN 388 and EN 407 the gloves are classified as type A and/
or type B:

  • Type A refers to gloves with higher resistance but with lower flexibility and dexterity.
  • Type B refers to gloves with lower resistance but with greater flexibility and dexterity.

Welding gloves should be longer than standard protective gloves, the sizes should correspond
to the below table:

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Gloves intended for arc welding shall be tested for electrical vertical resistance according to EN 1149–2. The electrical vertical resistance for gloves type A and B shall be >105 Ω.

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Risks related to food contact

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This is applied to materials and articles that, at finished state, are intended to come into contact or are brought into contact with foodstuffs or with water that is for human consumption. According to Regulation 1935/2004:

’The materials and articles must be manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practice so that, under normal or foreseeable conditions for their use, they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could:

  • Present a danger to human health,
  • Result in an unacceptable change in the composition of the foodstuffs or a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof. ’

All Ejendals gloves with the ’food contact’ logo are conform to Regulation (EU)
No. 1935/2004 and the Regulation (EU) No. 2023/2006, and Regulation (EU) No. 11/2011.

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ESD

IEC 61340-5-1
IEC 61340-4-3

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ESD stands for electrostatic discharge. Products that are marked ESD meet current criteria and standards for ESD protection. The ESD approval must not be confused with electrical safety properties. If work is to be performed close to live voltages, requirements according to national regulations shall be obeyed. If ESD gloves and footwear are to work satisfactorily, both personal equipment and the workplace must be conductive.

Test method
The international standard IEC 61340-5-1 is used to ensure that an ESD glove is capable of handling the resistance requirements of the system, which means that the resistance from operator to ground is less than 10⁹ Ω. The test is performed at 12% humidity. Shoes are tested in accordance with the standard IEC 61340-4-3 which ensures that the shoes have a resistance to ground of less than 108 Ω.