Hand protection

Hand Protection

At work hands are vulnerable to a wide range of hazards including cuts, blows, chemical attack and temperature extremes. Selecting the correct hand protection begins with an analysis of the types of hazards present ad the levels of protection required. Glove materials and styples vary in resistance to industrial hazards and toxic substances. Some offer resistance to several hazards at once, but no glove will offer resistance to all.Anderco Safety can provide full on-site training and assistance in implementing an effective hand protection programme. In our express range Hand Protection catalogue, we have detailed a cross section of the products which represent those most commonly used industry today. These products are available for 24 hour delivery. Also included is detailed information on the relevant product standards to assist you with the selection process. Should you have a requirement which is not met by our express range, please contact our Sales Helpdesk on 1850 303304 for details of our full range.

Selection Guide

Identify the Hazards Evaluate the physical conditions you will subject the glove to and determine which types of resistance are most important. Physical conditions such as abrasion, cut, puncture and temperature can influence chemical resistance. Consider features needed for your application such as grip, length, dexterity, comfort, insulation, type of glove, and extent of coating. Select the glove that offers you the optimum combination of features, benefits and resistance to both physical and chemical hazards. For details of chemical resistance please refer to our Technical Helpdesk on 1850 303 304. Select a thinner gauge unsupported glove when you need extra dexterity and tactile sensitivity. Choose a heavier gauge glove for greater protection and wear. Consider a flock-lined unsupported glove for extra comfort, insulation and wear. Choose a supported glove or a cut and sewn glove for added cut, snag, puncture or abrasion resistance. Choose the finish you need for the grip necessary for your application: rough, smooth, wrinkled, embossed, bisque, etc. Select the glove by determining the depth to which your hand and arm will be immersed in a solution and the extent to which you will need splash protection. Ensure the glove which you select is the correct size, fits properly and provides dexterity and comfort. For product protection, consider the toughness, fit, thickness and degree of disposability required. Use a style that provides the most important of these features and benefits. Glove colours can often be used to help identify contamination or to designate critical work areas. Use the style most suited for your needs. We have identified three main classes of hazards. These are: 1. Mechanical hazard such as abrasion/cut/puncture/tear 2. Chemicals and micro-organisms 3. Thermal hazards (cold/heat)


Antistatic conductive gloves - Please contact our Technical Helpdesk on 1850 303 304 for full details on the range of products available. Clean room gloves - Please contact our Technical Helpdesk on 1850 303 304 for full details on the range of products available. Care & maintenance - contaminated and worn gloves may fail to protect from the very hazard they were designed for. Effective protection is maintained by regular glove replacement. Check the condition of gloves, inside and out, on a regular basis. Disposal - All gloves that come in direct or splash contact with chemicals should be disposed of either immediately or as appropriate. Corporate identification - It is possible to have gloves produced in corporate colours or manufactured with printed sections. Minimum quantities apply.

General Standards

Simple Design (Category 1) - For areas of ‘minimal risk’ where the effects of not wearing a glove are easily reversible or superficial. Self-certified by the manufacturer or distributor. Intermediate Design (Category 2) - For areas of specific risk i.e. mechanical risks. These products have an EC type test according to European test methods and certified by a notified approved body. Complex Design (Category 3) - For areas/applications that can seriously or irreversibly harm the health. Such products, in addition to the CE type test as with category 2 gloves, will also have to be either produced under an approved quality system or be type tested on an annual basis.

Types of Protectors

The prime protective capacity and inherent features of a glove are determined by the material composition of the product. Listed below are the most common glove materials, to assist you in understanding their various properties.

Cotton and leather work gloves

Made from natural fibres, comfortable and extremely versatile. A wide range of styles are available to cover a wide range of hazards from heat to abrasion. Depending on the construction/quality, natural fibre gloves can ultimately offer the highest levels of comfort and excellent wearer acceptability. However, these properties are normally available on higher end gloves. The general range of gloves available tends to consist of mass produced, imported products where consistent quality can be difficult to maintain.

Natural rubber latex

Natural rubber has excellent abrasion, cut and tear resistance, as well as outstanding grip and temperature resistance. It is flexible and durable in temperatures ranging from 0º F to 300º F (-17º C to 150º C ). Latex gloves are soft, flexible and thin gauge. They do not offer the same resistance as thicker gloves, but offer high levels of tactility and dexterity. These gloves can be disposable, making them ideal for single use applications such as lab work, tableting and packaging areas. Natural rubber, however, has poor flame resistance. It generally withstands all liquids that will mix with water, such as acetones and alcohols, but not those such as petroleum and oil-based solvents. Natural rubber is a hydrocarbon. It swells and degrades in contact with hydrocarbon fluids like kerosene and gasoline. It is not recommended where resistance to grease, oil and petroleum solvents is required.


Neoprene provides excellent resistance to a broad range of hazardous chemicals, including acids, alcohols, oils, fats, caustics, inks, grease, refrigerants, ketones, detergents and fertilizers. Neoprene provides good abrasion resistance, but not as good as PVC or Nitrile. It also provides good cut resistance, but not as good as natural rubber. Neoprene has excellent tactile strength and resembles natural rubber in feel and flexibility, but is much more chemical resistant and impermeable to gases, vapor and moisture. Neoprene also resists degradation, due to ageing, sunlight, ozone, oxidation and weather. Neoprene performs well and resists degradation in continuous contact up to 200º F (93º C ), and in intermittent contact up to 300º F (150º C ), hardening and becoming less resilient above that. Neoprene remains flexible and performs well in the range of –10º F ( -23º C ), below that it stiffens and becomes brittle at around -40º F.


Nitrile is a synthetic rubber that provides excellent resistance to a wide range of solvents and hazardous chemicals, as well as resistance to puncture, cut, snag and abrasion. Nitrile offers excellent protection against oils, greases, acids, caustics and petroleum products. Nitrile gloves are often soft, flexible and thin gauge. They withstand less permeating chemicals in intermittent contact. Nitrile can also be used to make heavier gauge gloves that provide greater resistance to chemical and physical hazards. The thicker a nitrile glove, the greater its resistance to chemicals, however as the glove gains chemical and physical toughness, it loses its flexibility. Depending on the glove type and application, nitrile can function well in temperatures ranging from 25º F ( -4º C ), to 300º F ( 150º C ). Nitrile gloves have a better resistance to cuts and abrasion, than Neoprene or PVC.


PVC is a synthetic thermoplastic polymer that provides excellent resistance to most acids, fats, caustics and petroleum carbons in addition to outstanding abrasion resistance. Although flexible, PVC lacks the tactile sensitivity of rubber. PVC can be used to make soft flexible, thin gauge gloves, which do not offer the same resistance as thicker gloves, but offer high levels of tactility and dexterity. These gloves are disposable making them ideal for single use applications such as lab work, tableting and packaging areas. PVC gloves are useful in alcohols and glycol ethers, but not in aldehydes, ketones, aromatic hydrocarbons, halogen compounds, heterocyclic compounds or nitro-compounds. Depending on the particular glove and application, PVC gloves may function well in temperatures ranging from 25º F ( -4º C ) to 150º F ( 65º C ). PVC begins to melt around 180º F ( 82º C). For brief intermittent contact PVC gloves may be effective in temperatures up to about 212º F ( 100º C).


Butyl rubber provides superior resistance to highly corrosive acids and is excellent for handling ketones and esters. This synthetic rubber provides the highest permeation resistance to gases and water vapours of any protective material used to make gloves. However, it does not offer the physical strength of natural rubber. Butyl rubber provides good chemical resistance to bases, alcohols, amines, amides, glycol ethers, nitrocompounds and aldehydes, but does not perform well in halogen compounds, aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons.


Viton is the most chemically resistant of all the rubbers and protects against such toxic and highly permeating chemicals as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), polychlorinated triphenyls, benzene and aniline. This fluoroelastomer provides excellent resistance to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons and also chlorinated solvents. However Viton does not work well in ketones. Viton also provides excellent resistance to gas and water vapours and is flexible, but offers minimal resistance to cuts and abrasion. For applications where Viton is recommended for chemical resistance, and protection from physical hazards, heavier-gauge Viton gloves will perform better.

EN 388

This standard applies to all kinds of protective gloves giving protection from mechanical risks, in respect of physical problems caused by abrasion, blade cut, puncture, tearing or impact cut. This standard also covers risk of electrostatic discharge. 0 means that level 1 was not reached during the test, X means that the test was not performed or not possible. This standard also includes a pass or fail test for Impact cut resistance and Volume Resistivity (Antistatic)

EN 374

- This standard specifies the capability of gloves to protect the user against chemicals and/or micro-organisms. Protection against chemical hazards (Permeation) is measured on the time it takes for a chemical to permeate through the glove material.


Frame Markings
Frame Markings
The eyewear frame may bear the following notations:
Measured breakthrough time Protections index
10 Minutes Class 1
30 Minutes Class 2
60 Minutes Class 3
120 Minutes Class 4
240 Minutes Class 5
480 Minutes Class 6.

EN 511

This standard applies to gloves which protect the hands against convective and contact cold.

A 3 digit performance level

a) Resistance to convective cold 0 - 4
b) Resistance to contact cold 0 - 4
c) Permeability of water 0 - 1 (1 = no water penetration after 30 minutes)

EN 407

This standard specifies thermal performance for protective gloves against heat and/or fire. A sample is taken from the palm area of a glove. The outside of the glove is put on a hot surface and the temperature of the inside of the glove is then monitored. The temperature on the inside of the glove must take 15 seconds or more to rise by 10°C from room temperature.

EN 659

This standard defines performance requirements for gloves designed to protect fire fighters against heat and flames.

EN 421

This standard lays down test methods and performance criteria for gloves offering protection against ionising radiation and radioactive contamination. If a glove is to be used for food handling, it is required to carry either the words 'for food use' or a representing symbol.


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