What’s In A Rating? Meaning Of Different Cut Ratings
Apr 21 2022
Ratings of hand protection provided by safety standards are used widely by Health & Safety Managers to specify what gloves they need for their operatives.
The most common standard used is “BSI EN388:2016+A1:2018 - Protective gloves against mechanical risks” (more commonly referred to as EN388).
You can see our full explanation of the standard here.
A lot of our customers ask “What does the rating actually mean?” or “What protection will “X” rating provide me with?”
It’s a question that can get some confusing answers as “experts” start to explain the exact testing methods used in the standard and the specific performance levels required for each level in the rating.
The problem is that it’s quite hard to relate the measurements and tests used to “real-life” and provide them with context.
We suggest to our customers that they use the rating as a benchmark within the safety industry as opposed to a hard and fast indication of the protection offered.
Once you’ve arrived at the perfect glove for your workforce through trials (we recommend using workplace trials as well as undertaking what we call “desk experiments”), make a note of its rating and then use that to find gloves in the market that should perform to similar levels.
For many people this simplifies the approach to specifying and sourcing hand protection for their team. When something is simpler it’s easier and usually more effective.