Hand Protection FAQ

Why are gloves important in PPE?

PPE in general and hand protection in particular are seen as the last barrier against hazards. That doesn’t mean it’s not vitally important. In Australia in 2002 there was a massive 29,142 workers compensation claims for hand injuries - (National Workers’ Compensation Statistics Database – nosi2.nohsc.gov.au)

In the case of hand protection, employees might forget to put their gloves back on when coming back from a break or in the summer when it’s hot, they might take them off. It’s always best to eliminate the hazard where possible. However, many jobs still require the use of hand protection. Employees wear a wide range of hand protection while working with metal parts and solvents and in clean rooms.

How can you implement an effective hand protection program?

Anytime you require employees to wear any type of PPE, you must teach them to wear it in the proper manner and train them to use it. Where possible eliminate the hazard or process creating the hazard through administrative changes. If that is not feasible, engineering controls such as guards or equipment changes are investigated. Use training and signs to communicate with employees and help them recognize hazards.

  • Eliminate the hazard completely or use engineering controls to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Choose appropriate hand protection to fit the job task.
  • Train employees to recognise hazards and use hand protection.
  • Make it easy for employees to replace hand protection when it becomes worn or damaged.
  • Monitor and police the program.

What are the Australian / New Zealand occupational protective gloves standards?

The AS/NZS 2161:1998 is the overall standard for Australian occupational protection gloves.
Where applicable, each of Paramount’s gloves is assessed across a range of criteria for their specified usage for each standard.
Each glove is given a performance rating for a number of factors against the specified usage. The usage is denoted by a pictogram. The individual glove’s performance rating is shown under the pictogram with a series of numbers or ratings.

Do ProChoice gloves meet European Standards too?

ProChoice has developed its glove range to meet industry requirements and standards. Most of the gloves we sell comply with European Standards.

These standards have been adopted in Australia and New Zealand as AS/NZ 2161:1998. They are exactly the same as the European standards EN407, EN420, EN374, EN388 and EN511.

Also, where applicable, gloves suitable for use within the food industry conform to HACCP food safety accreditation program and gloves suitable for medical examination are Therapeutic Goods Act (TGA) listed.

Most European standards concerning protective gloves are represented by a shield-shaped pictogram (facing risk protection symbol) associated with a list of performance levels obtained at one or several tests in laboratory.

What are the general requirements (EN420) for occupational protective gloves?

To achieve a standard, gloves must meet minimum performance levels for the following:
  • Clear manufacturer identification, product and size marking
  • Innocuousness i.e. pH of the materials is neutral and will not harm the health of the user
  • Respect of agreed sizes
  • Dexterity: it is advisable that a glove brings as much dexterity as possible according to the intended use.
  • Glove composition - any seams present in the construction of the glove do not result in a significant decrease in product performance.
  • Packing, storage, maintenance and cleaning
  • Information to the user on instruction for use whatever the PPE category: performances, pictograms, uses, use precautions, available size range

What is the standard for Thermal Risk?

The standard for Thermal Risk is EN407.
This standard specifies test methods, general requirements, thermal performance levels and the marking of protective gloves against heat and/or fire.

It is applicable to all the gloves which must protect hands against heat and/or flames under one or several of the following forms: fire, contact heat, convective heat, small projections of molten metal or big projections of molten metal. Testing can be only carried out for performance levels and not for protection ones.

What is the standard for Chemical Risk?

The standard for Chemical Risk is EN374-3.
It shows the resistance of gloves to non-gaseous, potentially dangerous chemicals in the case of continuous contact. The gloves are measured by testing how long it takes for a chemical to permeate through the glove material. These performance levels are listed below the Chemical Risk pictogram for assessment against a certain range of chemicals. These may differ from glove to glove.

What is the standard for Protective Welding Gloves?

The standard for Welding Gloves is EN12477.
This project of standard specifies the requirements and test methods for the gloves used for manual welding of metals, cutting and related techniques. The welder’s gloves are classified into two categories. B when a dexterity is required and A for other welding processes.

How does a glove need to perform to meet the standard for Mechanical Risk?

The standard for Mechanical Risk is EN388.
Mechanical risk is the risk caused by abrasion, blade cut, tear and puncture to the wearer of the glove. Each glove is tested for its resistance against each of these risks and is given a rating for each. The higher the rating (5 being maximum), the better the performance of the glove against the risk.
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