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Glove Markings

To conform to European regulations all gloves must conform the the Personal Protective Equipment 89/686/EEC directive.

This page provides a brief summary of what the various glove markings mean in practice. While this will help in selecting the correct glove for a particular application, the actual conditions of use cannot be simulated. It is therefore the responsibility of the end user and not the manufacturer or retailer to ensure the glove is suitable for its intended use.

Category 1, Simple Design

Typical Marking
Gloves in this category are for "minimal risk" where the risk of any injury if not wearing a glove is small and it's effects would be easily reversible.
Category 2, Intermediate Design

Typical Marking

Gloves in this category are for areas of specific risk where there is a risk of injury. These gloves are type tested against European test standards by a notified body.
Category 3, Complex Design

Typical Marking
Gloves in this category are for applications that can cause serious harm or irreversible side effects. These gloves are tested as for Category 2 gloves and must also be manufactured under an approved quality system or type tested on an annual basis.

Pictograms Explained

Pictograms help to quickly identify a gloves suitability for specific purposes. Each symbol represents a different type of hazard and the numbers underneath indicate how well the glove performed in the tests, the higher the number the better the performance.

EN 388 Mechanical Hazards Rating
Abrasion = 1, Blade cut = 5, Tear = 4, Puncture = 0 Abrasion resistance 0-4
Blade cut resistance 0-5
Tear resistance 0-4
Puncture resistance 0-4
EN 374-2 Chemical & Micro-Organisms Rating
Resistance to penetration by Micro-Organisms Resistance to penetration by micro-organisms. Rated as acceptable quality levels (A.Q.L.)  
Level 1 4/S4
Level 2 1.5/GI
Level 3 0.65/GI
EN 374-3 Chemical & Micro-Organisms Rating
Resistance to permeation by Chemicals Resistance to permeation by chemicals.  
Level 1 >10 mins
Level 2 >30 mins
Level 3 >60 mins
Level 4 >120 mins
Level 5 >240 mins
Level 6 >480 mins
BS EN 374:2003 now states that a glove must have a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes when tested for 3 chemicals from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals. The chemicals tested against are designated an identifying letter from A to L
Carbon Disulphide  
Ethyl Acetate  
Sodium hydroxide 40%  
Sulphuric acid 96%  
EN 407 Thermal Hazards (Heat and / or fire) Rating
Resistance to thermal risks a. Flammability 0-4
b. Contact heat 0-4
c. Convective heat 0-3
d. Radiant heat 0-4
e. Small drops molten metal 0-4
f. Large quantity molten metal 0-4
  Performance Levels 1 2 3 4
a After flare time <20s <10s <3s <1s
After glow time NA <120s <25s <5s
b Contact temp, threshold >=15s 100°C 250°C 350°C 500°C
c Heat transfer delay >4s >7s >10s >18s
d Heat transfer delay >7s >20s >50s >95s
e Number of drops >10 >15 >25 >35
f Mass in grams 30g 60g 120g 200g
  X in this test denotes NOT TESTED
EN 511 Protection from cold Rating
Cold Resistance to convective cold 0-4
Resistance to contact cold 0-4
Permeability to water 0-1
EN 388 Anti-static performance  
Anti-static Pass or fail  
EN 388 Impact Cut Resistance  
Impact cut resistance Pass or fail  

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