EU Council Directive 89/686/EEC Use and compliance of PPE regulations

There are two different classes of gloves. The one is intended to provide protection against “minimum” risks, the other against “serious” risks. The risks between those two groups are called “medium” risks.

In order to fulfill the PPE regulations, the risks incurred by the user need to be determined, and then the respectively appropriate protection class must be selected. We are glad to help you in this selection process on the basis of our more than 25 years of experience.

Minimum risk gloves are e.g. household gloves or leather gloves worn for types of work where the hands merely need to be protected against dirt. For these gloves, the CE marking is sufficient.

Medium risk gloves must be used for work requiring good puncture and abrasio resistance. For these gloves, a test and certification are required, and the gloves must be marked with a respective pictogram.

Gloves protecting against high or serious risks, e.g. gloves protecting against chemicals, also need to be tested, certified, and marked with a respective pictogram, and they must carry the test number of the certifying body.

Mechanical risks
Protection against chemicals
Limited protection against chemicals
Cold protection
Heat and fire
Ionising radiation
Radioactive contamination
Protection against micro-organisms
Heat and fire
Static electricity

ce2   This pictogram signifies that the product complies with the general requirements of the Directive.

EN 420

The European standard DIN EN 420 defines the general requirements for protective gloves of all categories and specifies test methods and marking. In conjunction with the basic standard DIN EN 420, a number of specific standards apply.

EN 388

The standard for gloves for protection against mechanical injuries defines risks such as abrasion, cuts, stitches or cracks. A four-digit numerical code below the pictogram “Mechanical Hazards” shows at a glance what a glove (or armguard) is made in terms of abrasion resistance, cut resistance, tear propagation resistance and puncture resistance.

Cut protection test according to EN 388: 2016
Due to the use of modern high-performance materials in the manufacture of protective gloves, a revision, tightening and differentiation of the test criteria for cut protection according to EN 388 (protective gloves for mechanical risks) has taken place. For protective gloves made of normal non-high-performance materials, the coup test (EN 388 – 6.2) will continue to be used and the cutting test to ISO 13997 as a voluntary addition will be available. On the other hand, if the protective gloves are made of high-performance fibers, the revised version of ISO 13997, also known as the TDM test, will become the standard test procedure. The cutting strengths are not divided into numerical performance levels of 1-4, but in classes of A – F. This makes it easy to distinguish from the coup test according to EN 388.

Level A B C D E F
ISO Cut Test (N) ≥ 2 ≥ 5 ≥ 10 ≥ 15 ≥ 22 ≥ 30

The gloves tested to EN 388-2016 are labeled with the same pictogram as before. Under the coat of arms, the performance levels of 1 – 4, and 1-5 (for the cut resistance) are given. The first digit (from left to right) refers to the abrasion resistance, the cut resistance, the tear propagation force and the puncture force. This information is supplemented by a letter after the new cut test. Marking examples:EN 388 [3 4 4 3 E] – Both cutting tests have been usedEN 388 [3 X 4 3 E] – Cutting test according to ISO 13997 has been appliedEN 388 [3 4 4 3 X] – Cutting test according to EN 388 has been applied

EN 407

Requirements for gloves for protection against heat or alsoFlame is described in the standard DIN EN 407. From a temperature of 100 ° C, thermal risks occur. The “heat and flame” pictogram indicates the type and degree of protection by means of a numerical code:

burning behavior
contact heat
convective heat
radiant heat
Strain from small splashes of molten metal
Exposure to large quantities of liquid metal

In addition, the gloves must meet at least power level 1 in terms of abrasion and tear resistance.

EN 659

Protective gloves for the fire brigade, with the exception of the minimum length, must comply with the general requirements of EN 420.

Abrasion resistance 3 – 4
Cut resistance 2 – 5
Tear strength 3 – 4
Stitch resistance 3 – 4
Burning behavior 4
Convective heat HTI24 ≥ 13
Radiant heat RHTI24>
18 Contact heat for at least 10s at 250 ° C Sensation 1 – 5
Seam strength at least 350N
Time to take off <3 seconds
Water passage resistance 1 – 4

DIN EN 511

Gloves for protection against contact and convection cold to -50 ° C are summarized in this standard. The pictogram “cold risk” shows with a numerical code the protective properties of the gloves with regard to convection cold resistance, contact cold resistance and water resistance. In addition, the gloves must have an abrasion and tear strength according to performance level 1.

EN 374

The gloves are tested in addition to the mechanical requirements for penetration and permeation. The materials used are natural latex, neoprene, nitrile, fluoroelastomer or even PVC (vinyl). Limited protection is also provided by disposable gloves in the hygiene area.

Penetration: The penetration is determined by an air and / or water leak test in accordance with DIN EN 374 Part 3. Permeation: Permeation is a process in which a chemical penetrates the thin layer of a glove that has no visible openings. The time from the first chemical contact to the detection is the breakthrough time. The second measure of permeation is the normalized rate at which the chemical penetrates through the thin glove layer. Further information can be found in the resistance table.

EN 12477

Gloves for hand welding, cutting and related metalworking are defined in the standard EN 12477. The gloves meet the EN 420 standard, but are significantly longer to protect users from welding beads. The standard distinguishes Type A and Type B gloves. Type A gloves meet higher requirements and are recommended for heavy welding processes; Type B gloves offer more freedom of movement and are preferred for TIG welding. Welder gloves must be clearly marked Type A or B.