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Understanding Standards and Regulations for Safety Gloves


Safety gloves are essential personal protective equipment for many workers in various industries. They protect the hands from hazards such as cuts, punctures, chemical exposure, etc. However, not all gloves are created equal. It is essential to understand the different standards and regulations that govern the production and use of safety gloves to ensure they provide the necessary protection.

One of the most widely recognized standards for safety gloves is EN 388, also known as the European standard for protective gloves against mechanical risks. These standard covers four primary areas of protection: abrasion resistance, cut resistance, tear resistance, and puncture resistance. Abrasion resistance refers to the glove's ability to withstand wear and tear from rubbing against surfaces. Cut resistance relates to the glove's ability to resist cuts from sharp objects like knives. Tear resistance refers to the glove's ability to resist tearing when forced. Puncture resistance relates to the glove's ability to resist punctures from sharp objects like needles. Gloves that meet this standard will have a four-digit code on the label indicating their level of performance in each area.

Another necessary standard is EN 374, which is the standard for protective gloves against chemicals and microorganisms. These standard covers three main areas of protection: permeation resistance, breakthrough time, and degradation. Permeation resistance refers to the glove's ability to resist the penetration of chemicals into the glove's material. Breakthrough time refers to the time it takes for a chemical to permeate the glove material. Degradation refers to the chemical's effect on the glove material's physical properties. Gloves that meet this standard will have a three-digit code on the label indicating their level of performance in each area.

In the United States, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has set standards for hand protection in the workplace. OSHA standard 1910.138 requires employers to select and use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or Lacerations, severe bruising, punctures, chemical burns, heat burns, and deadly temperature extremes are all possibilities.

It is important to note that not all gloves meet these standards, and it is essential to look for gloves that are certified and have the appropriate markings on them, indicating that they have been tested and meet the required standards.

In addition to these standards, it is important to consider the specific hazards present in the workplace when selecting safety gloves. For example, if the job involves handling chemicals, choosing gloves specifically designed for chemical resistance is essential. Similarly, if the job involves working with sharp objects, it is important to choose gloves that provide high levels of cut resistance.

It is also important to ensure that the gloves fit properly. Gloves that are too tight or loose can impede movement and may not provide the necessary protection. It is also important to ensure that gloves are well-maintained. Gloves that are dirty or have holes can no longer provide the required protection.

In conclusion, safety gloves are an important piece of personal protective equipment that can help protect workers from various hazards. It is essential to understand the different standards and regulations governing the production and use of safety gloves and the specific hazards present in the workplace to ensure that the appropriate gloves are selected to provide the necessary protection. Employers must also ensure that gloves are well-maintained and fit properly to ensure the best protection for their employees. "For more information on safety gloves and other personal protective equipment, be sure to visit parrotias website.


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