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How to select the right gloves for you

Gloves should protect your hands but should not hinder your work. If nothing else, that would be the sentence to remember when choosing the right pair of gloves. There is near infinite permutation of glove designs, materials and features.

For example the Al-Gard ALG-306KL (photo below) not only has the spark and abrasion resistance we have all come to expect from leather, it is also cut and contact heat resistant thanks to a kevlar liner. So how do you know if this is the right pair of gloves for you?

Let's go through the checklist.

ALG 306KL
(Yellow kevlar liner)

ALG FH353
Impact Gloves

  1. APPLICATION - Lay out the work that has to be done and the hazards associated with them. This is usually done by your safety officer by way of a risk analysis. Largely speaking, there are mechanical, chemical, biological, temperature and radioactive hazards. Luckily we have a quick reference chart of the associated EN test standards here.
  2. MINIMISE FEATURES - Choose the gloves that serve to protect from the identified hazards only. Do not be drawn in with talk of extra protective features you do not need. That way you not only minimise your cost, the glove will be less obstrusive to your work.
  3. COMPLIANCE - Make sure that the gloves have been tested for use in your situation. In Singapore, the SS safety standards are based on safety regulations worldwide with emphasis on EN (European) standards. Do not to be tempted by affordable gloves without certification claiming to do the same thing. They might, but is it really worth the risk? 
  4. WEAR THEM - You won't be able to pick the right gloves based on spec alone. Buy a few pairs and see how they feel. Look out for the size, comfort, level of protection or any other specific requirements you may have, then feedback to the sales consultant.
Mobirise

EN 388 (A, B, C, D, E, P)
Mechanical Protection

A - Abrasion resistance (1 to 4)
B - Blade resistance (0 to 5)
C - Tear resistance (0 to 4)
D - Puncture resistance (0 to 4)
E - Straight cut resistance (A to F)
P - Impact protection (Pass/Fail)
*E & P may not always appear in the rating for gloves tested before 2016

Mobirise

EN 407 (A, B, C, D, E, F)*
Heat Protection

A - Resistance to Flammability
B - Resistance to Contact Heat
C - Resistance to Convective Heat
D - Resistance to Radiant Heat
E - Resistance to Small Molten             Metal Splashes
F - Resistance to Large Molten             Metal Splashes

*All Ratings are represented from (X to 4)

Mobirise

EN 374 (X, Y, Z)

Chemical Protection & Resistance and Micro-organisms

(374-1) - Low Chemical Resistance
Gloves with this logo did not achieve a breakthrough time of >30 mins against >3 chemicals from the EN defined list.

(374-2) - Microorganisms  
Gloves with this logo passes at least 3 level 2 microorganism penetration tests.

(374-3) - Chemical Resistance
The alphabets underneath the logo represents a specific chemical tested.

Mobirise

EN 511 (A, B, C)

A - Resistance to Convective Cold
      (0 to 4)
B - Resistance to Contact Cold
      (0 to 4)
C - Permeability to Water
      (0 to 1)*

*0 = Penetration after 30 mins
  1 = No Penetration after 30 mins

Mobirise

EN 60903
(Class 00 / 0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4) 

Gloves with an EN 60903 rating is meant to protect from electrical shocks. The different classes correspond to different working voltages:

Class 00 - 500V
Class 0 - 1000V
Class 1 - 10,000V
Class 2 - 17,000V
Class 3 - 26,500V
Class 4 - 36,000V

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