Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Size Charts
Depending on your line of work, your personal protective equipment (PPE) can be something as simple as a sturdy pair of gloves or as complex as a fully encapsulated, vapor-protective Level A suit with a self-contained breathing apparatus. Your PPE could save you from some minor discomfort or save your life. Choosing the right protective clothing and equipment is worth careful consideration, and finding the right fit is just as important. Unfortunately, choosing proper fitting PPE for you or others can be confusing. Understanding sizing conventions and determining which sizes are the right ones can be a challenge. Here are some simple PPE size charts to help you make the best decision when purchasing sized PPE.
Hard hat sizes can seem a bit mysterious. To measure for your hat size, place a soft cloth tape measure around the widest part of your head (this is usually just above the eyebrows). Pull the tape measure snug, but not tight. Convert inches to hat size using the sizing chart below.
|Hat||6-3/4 to 7||7-1/8 to 7-1/4||7-3/8 to 7-1/2||7-5/8 to 7-3/4|
|Head (in.)||21-1/2 to 21-7/8||22-1/4 to 22-5/8||23 to 23-1/2||23-7/8 to 24-1/4|
For more information on hard hats see Quick Tips #241: Hard Hat Requirements.
Safety eyewear size measurements depend on the type of lens you have. With a single-lens system, size is measured in millimeters (mm) from the outside of the left temple to the outside of the right temple (25.4 mm equals an inch). If the eyewear has a two-lens system, such as prescription eyewear, size is measured in mm from the left to right of each lens.
The most current American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices (ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010) provides for products designed for smaller head sizes. These products are marked with the letter “H”.
Of all PPE sizing challenges, accurate sizing for respirators is the most critical. Confusion sometimes occurs because respirator sizes are given descriptors (small, medium and large), but these do not relate to any measurable value. Respirators are made with the assumption that most people’s faces and heads have about the same width and length. This means that a medium size will fit approximately 70 percent of the adult population. Small and large sizes are made for a minority of the population. People who need these sizes generally know from their experience buying hats or prescription eyewear that their face and head size falls outside the norm. The only way to ensure the correct size for tight fitting respirators is to conduct the required fit testing.
It is important to know how to measure the hand to get a proper fitting glove. Measuring the hand for correct fit will give the employee the best possible protection without compromising the task, duty or safety of the wearer. To find the correct glove size, measure around the hand (a dominant hand measurement is preferred) with a tape measure as shown below. The dominant hand will be the right if you are right-handed and left if you are left-handed.
If the gloves you are purchasing come in numbered sizes, you can relate the inch measurement directly to the numerical size listed for the glove. For example, if the measurement taken is 8 inches, then you would select a size 8 glove. If the measurement is over 8 inches then it is prudent to select the next size larger in order to avoid hand fatigue from a too small glove. If the gloves you are purchasing come in lettered sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL or XXL), use the table below to translate the measurement.
|Men's Sizes||Women's Sizes|
|S||7-1/2 to 8||20||S||6-1/2||17|
|M||8-1/2 to 9||23||M||7||18|
|L||9-1/2 to 10||25||L||7-1/2||19|
|XL||10-1/2 to 11||28||XL||8||20|
Source: Turtleskin Glove/Warwick Mills, Inc.
Some may elect to determine their glove size using finger length. This is done by measuring from the bottom edge of the palm to the tip of the middle finger.
|Measurement (Inches)||Glove Size|
Source: Turtleskin Glove/Warwick Mills, Inc.
For additional information on proper selection of gloves, please refer to Quick Tips #306: Safety Glove Size Chart.
By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have figured out how to find a pair of comfortable shoes, but in PPE, overshoes and overboots sizing can be confusing. Most overshoes/overboots are sized to fit men, to fit over the shoes being worn underneath and to correspond in size. For example, a size 10 overshoe should fit over a size 10 shoe.
When converting women's shoe sizes to men's shoe sizes you need to size down two whole sizes. For example, a women's shoe size 10 is a men's shoe size 8. Also bear in mind that men’s footwear tends to run wider than women’s footwear.
When converting a men's shoe size to the correct U.S. shoe size, use the following chart. For example, a men's European shoe size 44 is a U.S. shoe size 10-1/2.
Source: Turtleskin Glove/Warwick Mills, Inc. - Recreated by Grainger
Please note that these charts are a guide for garment selection, but proper fit varies with individual body shape and underclothing. Test for proper fit before use. Garment performance depends on selecting the appropriate size.
Source: Safety Solutions, Inc.
Find even more information you can use to help make informed decisions about the regulatory issues you face in your workplace every day. View all Quick Tips Technical Resources at www.grainger.com/quicktips.
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The content in this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific compliance questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.
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