EN 388: a Guide to the European Standard for Protective Gloves Against Mechanical Risks

EN 388

EN 388: a Guide to the European Standard for Protective Gloves Against Mechanical Risks

After analysing the difference between nitrile and vinyl gloves and guiding you through the EN 374 standard for protective gloves for dangerous chemicals, today we are going to introduce you to EN 388, the European standard for protective gloves against mechanical risks. Keep reading to find out what it refers to and how to read its symbol.

EN 388: 2016

EN 388 was updated in 2016, and is the European standard used to evaluate protective gloves against mechanical risks, including risks that could arise from the handling of rough or sharp objects such as metal sheets, glass, and masonry blocks. For this reason, if you are working in heavy construction, rigging, mining, ironworking, or you perform any other tasks putting your hands at risk of cuts and lacerations, you must make sure that the protective gloves you are using comply with this standard.

Symbol explained

Gloves offering protection against mechanical risks show the EN 388 symbol, which is followed by a series of four numbers and two letters, each one referring to the performance of the glove against specific risks:

Abrasion resistance

The first number refers to abrasion resistance, which is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, where 4 indicated the highest level of protection while 1 indicated the lowest. During the test, the glove is subjected to abrasion by a sandpaper under a determined pressure, and the number of turns needed until a hole appears on the material will determine the level.

Cut resistance

The second number refers to cut resistance which is determined by the coup test: a knife is passed over the glove until it cuts through. Cut resistance is expressed on a level from 1 to 5. When the glove dulls the knife, the TDM test is performed (see below).

Tearing strength

The third number of the EN 388 series measures the force required to tear the glove apart when pull, and it is expressed on a scale from 1 to 4.

EN 388
Leather Mechanic Gloves

Puncture resistance

The fourth number measure pucture resistance by measuring the force required to puncture the material with a tip. It is expressed with a number from 1 to 4.

TDM test

As the glove can easily dull the knife during the coup test, it is subject to a more comprehensive test called TDM test. It involves the use of a TDM machine with the sliding blade and weights. Results are expressed by a letter from A to F, where F indicated the highest level of protection.

Impact protection

The last letter refers to impact protection. If a P is shown, the glove provides protection against impact, while an F indicated that it failed the test. When an X appears, the glove was not tested.

Now that you know everything abour EN 388, explore our extensive range of protective gloves and find the best option for your needs!

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