Define: EN388:2016

Definition updated 7th November 2023

EN388:2016 is the European standard for gloves designed to protect against mechanical hazards. It is an update to the previous standard, reflecting advancements in testing methods and providing more detailed performance levels for glove materials. The standard assesses gloves on several protective factors, each identified with a specific code letter and performance level.

The tests under EN388:2016 include:

  • Abrasion resistance (Code A): This measures how well the glove can withstand wear from rubbing against rough surfaces. The performance level is indicated by a number between 1 and 4, with 4 being the highest.
  • Blade cut resistance (Code B): Compared to the previous test, this uses a sharper blade and a higher range of forces. Performance levels range from A to F, with F representing the highest level of cut resistance.
  • Tear resistance (Code C): This indicates the glove's ability to resist tearing when a force is applied. Tear resistance is ranked from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest level.
  • Puncture resistance (Code D): The glove's ability to withstand puncture by a pointed object is rated between 1 and 4, with 4 indicating the highest level of puncture resistance.
  • Impact protection (Code P - if tested): A pass/fail test introduced in the 2016 revision, which is specific to gloves claiming impact protection. Gloves with impact protection will have a 'P' indicated under the shield pictogram.

The standard's pictogram features numbers or letters beneath a shield shape, summarising the performance levels against each risk. This system provides an easy reference for choosing gloves for specific tasks or hazards.

The update to the 2016 version also improved the precision and relevance of testing methods, particularly for cut resistance, which now employs the TDM-100 test machine. This machine uses a straight blade drawn across the glove material to simulate a cutting action, ensuring a more accurate reflection of the gloves' protective capabilities in real-world conditions.

Our Skytec gloves that meet the EN388:2016 standard provide reliable protection and performance for users in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and automotive repair, where mechanical risks are prevalent. By adhering to this standard, our gloves ensure a stringent level of protection, giving users confidence in their hand safety while performing various tasks.

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