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PPE in the Workplace

Glove Selection: Using ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification

1/24/19
Quick Tips #396

Hand protection is a necessary precaution to reduce the risk of potential work-related hand injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to select and require their employees to use appropriate hand protection when there are potential workplace exposures to hazards such as skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical or thermal burns; and harmful temperatures 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.138(a)]. OSHA also mandates that the selection must be based on an evaluation of performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) being performed [29 CFR 1910.138(b)].

The OSHA standard does not reference any standard that provides design or performance characteristics for hand protection. However, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I Appendix B urges employers to know the performance characteristics of the gloves that are being considered by obtaining documentation from the supplier showing that the gloves meet “appropriate test standards for the hazards anticipated.”

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016

The American National Standards Institute / International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) 105-2016 American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification is the latest revision of a voluntary consensus standard first published in 1999, and revised in 2005, 2011 and 2016. This standard addresses the classification and testing of hand protection for specific performance properties related to chemical and industrial applications. It provides, or refers to, appropriate test methods and provides pass/fail criteria used by manufacturers to classify their products. End users can use this information to review the documentation received from their supplier to help verify the gloves they are considering meet their needs.

Cut Resistance

When reviewing and selecting cut-resistant gloves, employers must take into account grip, as well as abrasion, cut and puncture resistance. And any other hand hazards that may be present.

Cut resistance is a function of a glove’s material composition and thickness.

Performance characteristics are not only affected by a material’s weight, but also by the coatings applied to the outside surface. Lighter weight styles are typically more flexible, resulting in less hand fatigue, while their heavier counterparts generally provide more cut and abrasion protection. Coated gloves enhance grip, especially on slippery surfaces.

Cut-resistance testing measures how well the glove will resist cutting by a sharp edge. When tested in accordance with ASTM F2992-15, the glove’s cut resistance is classified as shown below:

Level

Weight (grams) needed to cut through material with 20 millimeters of blade travel

A1 ≥ 200
A2 ≥ 500
A3 ≥ 1,000
A4 ≥ 1,500
A5 ≥ 2,200
A6 ≥ 3,000
A7 ≥ 4,000
A8 ≥ 5,000
A9 ≥ 6,000

Heavier weight indicates greater cut resistance.

Puncture Resistance (Other Than Hypodermic Needle)

This puncture resistance testing measures how the glove will resist puncture by a blunt pointed object. When tested in accordance with the European Standard EN 388.2003, the glove’s resistance against puncture from a blunt probe is expressed as a Newton value. This is the force of the blade needed to cut through the glove material:

Level

Puncture (Newtons)

0 < 10
1 ≥ 10
2 ≥ 20
3 ≥ 60
4 ≥ 100
5 ≥ 150

Higher puncture forces indicate a greater puncture resistance.

Hypodermic Needle Puncture Resistance

This puncture-resistance testing measures how well the glove resists puncture by a sharp-edged needle. When tested in accordance with ASTM F2878-10, the glove’s resistance against punctures from a hypodermic needle is classified as shown below, using the puncture force of a 25-gauge hypodermic needle:

Level

Puncture (Newtons)

0 < 2
1 ≥ 2
2 ≥ 4
3 ≥ 6
4 ≥ 8
5 ≥ 10

Higher puncture forces indicate a greater puncture resistance.

Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance testing measures how well the glove resists loss of material from rubbing on rough surfaces. When tested in accordance with ASTM D3389-10 or ASTM D3884-09, the glove’s abrasion resistance is classified according to the following levels, using the number of abrasion cycles to failure:

Level (tested at 500-gram load)

Abrasion Cycles to Fail

0 < 100
1 ≥ 100
2 ≥ 500
3 ≥ 1,000

Level (tested at 1,000-gram load)

4 ≥ 3,000
5 ≥ 10,000
6 ≥ 20,000

ASTM D3389-10 is used for coated gloves and the end point (failure) is the number of abrasion cycles when the film or coating is worn through. ASTM D3884-09 is used for uncoated gloves and the end point is the number of abrasion cycles when the first thread or yarn is broken.

Larger numbers of cycles indicate greater abrasion resistance.

Chemical Permeation

Permeation resistance testing measures the rate at which chemicals pass through the material on a molecular level. When tested in accordance with ASTM F739-12, the glove’s chemical permeation is classified according to the levels shown below, using the average standard breakthrough time (for each chemical tested):

Level

Standard Breakthrough Time (minutes)

0 < 10
1 ≥ 10
2 ≥ 30
3 ≥ 60
4 ≥ 120
5 ≥ 240
6 ≥ 480

Longer times indicate better chemical permeation resistance.

Chemical Degradation

Degradation resistance testing measures the effects of a chemical on a glove. In this test, the measured effect is the loss of puncture resistance by percentage change. When tested in accordance with ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 Appendix B Test Method for Chemical Degradation Resistance, the chemical degradation is classified according to the levels outlined below:

Level

Percentage Change

0 > 80
1 ≤ 80
2 ≤ 60
3 ≤ 40
4 ≤ 20

Lower percentage changes in puncture resistance indicate gloves with greater chemical degradation. The percentage change is applicable for positive and negative change. For example, if the percentage is +30% or -30%, the reported level is Level 3.

Heat and Flame Protection

Ignition resistance and burning behavior testing measures how easily a glove will ignite, and if ignited, how readily it will continue to burn once the flame is removed. When tested in accordance with ASTM F 1358-08, the glove’s ignition resistance and burning behavior is classified according to the levels listed below. In order to be classified at a specific level, the glove material must meet each of the criteria at that specific level.

Level

Time Exposed to Flame (seconds)

After-Flame Time (seconds)

0 3 > 2
1 3 ≤ 2
2 12 > 2
3 12 ≤ 2
4 No ignition in either 3- or 12-second exposure period  

Materials that show no ignition or longer ignition times and short after-burn times are considered to perform better.

Heat Degradation Resistance

Heat degradation testing determines the exposure temperature at which a glove will show no significant heat degradation. When tested in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization ISO 17493:2000, the glove’s heat degradation resistance is classified according to the levels listed below:

Level

Highest temperature (°C) where no charring, ignition, melting, dripping, separation or shrinkage in excess of 5% is observed

0 < 100
1 100
2 180
3 260
4 340

 The higher the reported temperatures, the greater the heat degradation resistance.

Conductive Heat Resistance

Conductive heat resistance testing measures the insulation provided by the glove when exposed to and in contact with a hot surface. When tested in accordance with ASTM F1060-08, the glove’s conductive heat resistance is classified according to the levels listed below:

Level

Highest contact temperature (°C) at which both time-to-second degree burn is greater than or equal to 15 seconds and alarm time is greater than or equal to four seconds

0 < 80
1 80
2 140
3 200
4 260
5 320

The alarm time is the difference between the measured time-to-second degree burn and the time-to-pain.

Higher temperatures indicate gloves with greater insulation.

Vibration Reduction

When tested in accordance with ANSI S2.73-2002 (R2007), a glove’s vibration reduction is classified as pass/fail. A glove must pass both of the following criteria: TRM 1.0 and TRH 0.6. TRM is the overall transmissibility of vibration using a spectrum called “M” [31.5 Hertz (Hz) - 200 Hz], and TRH is the overall transmissibility when using a spectrum called “H” [200 Hz - 1 kHz]. In accordance with ANSI/ISEA 105- 2016, only full-fingered gloves are to be classified as “anti-vibration.”

Dexterity

When tested in accordance with clause 6.2 of EN 420:2009, the dexterity of a glove is classified according to the levels shown below, using the smallest diameter of the pin that can be picked up:

Level

Smallest Diameter of Pin (millimeters)

1 11
2 9.5
3 8
4 6.5
5 5

Summary

Gloves are often relied upon to help prevent cuts, abrasions, punctures, burns and skin contact with chemicals. It is important to know the performance characteristics of gloves relative to the anticipated hazards. Before purchasing gloves, employers should request documentation from the supplier showing that the gloves being considered have been tested in accordance with the appropriate test standards for the anticipated hazards. It is vital that employers are aware of the different test methods in order to interpret the supplied documentation, draw accurate conclusions and select the best gloves for the tasks at hand.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How do I determine the correct glove size and length?

A: One method used to determine the correct glove size is to measure the circumference of your dominant hand (right if you are right-handed and left if you are left-handed) near the base of the knuckles with a soft flexible tape measure. The inch measurement correlates directly to the numerical glove size. Typically, the ideal length of a glove can vary depending upon the task being performed and the protection required. To determine the ideal length, use a soft flexible tape measure and measure the length of your arm from the tip of the middle finger back.

Q: What is degradation?

A: Degradation is a change in physical properties of the glove material. Common effects include swelling, wrinkling, stiffness, change in color or other physical deterioration. The degradation ratings indicate how well a glove will hold up when working with a specific chemical.

Sources:
29 CFR 1910.138
29 CFR 1910 Subpart I Appendix B
ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 - American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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