EN 388 safety standard for gloves explained

Safety gloves that provide this type of protection for wearers carry the unique EN 388 symbol, which is accompanied by a series of numbers and letters beneath it. These numbers and letters convey the type and level of protection that the gloves provide. You should always base your choice of safety gloves on the most severe hazard that you or your employees will face.

A safety glove that carries the EN 388 symbol will feature four numbers and two letters. They are positioned below the symbol and each one relates to information on the type and level of protection provided by the glove.

Glove ratings

The numbers on the EN 388 symbol signify the performance of the glove in tests relating to resistance to abrasions, cuts, tears and punctures. Abrasion, tear and puncture resistance is rated from 1 to 4 – the higher the number, the more resistance the glove provides. Cut resistance is rated from 1 to 5 on the same basis. This cut test is the Coup Test, a long-standing means of elevating cut resistance.

The Coup Test is complemented by a second cut test, the TDM-100 test. The TDM-100 test is a more comprehensive test of cut resistance. The result of this test is shown by the first letter that appears under the symbol. The letters range from A to F, with F the highest level of protection.

The second letter below the EN 388 symbol relates to an impact-protection test. This is used to test safety gloves for protection against impact. A glove shows either a P, for passed, or F, for failed. If a glove does not provide this type of protection, it is given an X, for not tested.

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