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PPE Pictograms Explained

Industry Standards Symbols

Knowing what the EN standards are is essential in helping you make the right decision when it comes to protecting workers’ hands. When buying industrial gloves from Sentinel Laboratories, an understanding of codes and symbols used for specifying protection levels in the standards is highly recommended.

CE Mark

CE Mark

CE Mark confirming that products follow requirements of EU Directives 93/42/EEC (Medical) or 89/686/EEC (PPE)

Standard EN 420: 2003

Standard EN 420: 2003



Scope

  • This standard defines the general requirements for glove design and construction, innocuousness, comfort and efficiency, marking and information applicable to all protective gloves. This standard can also apply to arm guards. The key points are given below. Some gloves designed for very specialist applications, such as electrician's or surgical gloves are governed by other stringent job-specific standards.

Definition

  • A glove is an item of personal protective equipment which protects the hand or any part of the hand from hazards. It may also cover part of the forearm and arm. A performance level is a number (between 0 and 4) which shows how a glove has performed in a specific test, and by which the results of that testing may be graded. Level 0 indicates that the glove is either untested or falls below the minimum performance level. A performance level X means that the test method is not suitable for the glove sample. Higher numbers indicate higher levels of performance.

Requirements


Glove Construction and Design

  • Gloves have to offer the greatest possible degree of protection in the foreseeable conditions of end use.
  • When seams are included, the strength of these seams should not reduce the overall performance of the glove.

Innocuousness

  • The gloves themselves shouldn't cause any harm to the user.
  • pH of the glove should be between 3.5 and 9.5.
  • Chromium (VI) content should be below detection (< 3 ppm).
  • Natural rubber gloves shall be tested on extractable proteins as per EN 455-3.

Cleaning Instructions

  • If care instructions are provided, the levels of performance should not be reduced after the maximum recommended number of cleaning cycles.

Electrostatic Properties

  • Anti-static gloves that are designed to reduce the risk of electrostatic discharges shall be tested as per EN 1149.
  • Obtained test values are to be reported on the instructions for use.
  • An electrostatic pictogram shall NOT be used.

Sizing

  • Gloves that are below the minimum length are to be called 'Fit for Special Purpose.'

Dexterity

  • If required, performance to be graded as per the table below.

Water Vapour Transmission and Absorption

  • If required, gloves shall allow water vapour transmission (5mg/cm2.h).
  • If gloves exclude water vapour transmission, it should be at least 8 mg/cm2 for 8 hours.

Marking and Information

    Each glove should be marked with:
  • Name of manufacturer
  • Glove and size designation
  • CE mark
  • Appropriate pictograms accompanied by the relevant performance levels and the reference of the EN standard
  • The marking should be legible throughout the life of the glove. Where marking of the glove is not possible in view of the characteristics of the glove, it should be mentioned on the first packaging enclosure.

Marking of the packaging immediately containing the gloves

  • Name and address of the manufacturer or representative
  • Glove and size designation
  • CE Mark
  • Usage Info:
  • - simple design: 'For minimal risks only' or,
  • - intermediate design or complex design: relevant pictograms
  • When protection is limited to part of the hand, this shall be mentioned (e.g. 'Palm Protection style only').
  • Reference to where information can be obtained

Instructions for Use (to be supplied when the glove is placed on the market)

  • Name and address of the manufacturer or representative
  • Glove designation
  • Size range available
  • CE mark
  • Care & storage instructions
  • Instructions and limitations of use
  • A list of substances used in the glove which are known to cause allergies
  • A list of all substances in the glove shall be made available upon request
  • Name and address of notified body that certified the product

Sizing of Gloves
 Glove Size  Fits Hand Size  Hand Circumference/Length (mm)  Minimum Length of the Glove (mm)
 6  6  152/160  220
 7  7  178/171  230
 8  8  203/182  240
 9  9  229/192  250
 10  10  254/204  260
 11  11  279/215  270

Glove Dexterity
 Performance Level  Smallest Diameter*
 1  11.0
 2  9.5
 3  8.0
 4  6.5
 5  5.0
*pin that can be picked up with gloved hand 3 times/30 seconds (mm)

Glove Sizing Chart

  • Ordering the right size is the best way to assure that gloves are comfortable. One way to determine the size needed is to use a dressmaker's cloth tape to measure around the hand. Measure above the thumb and below the fingers. The circumference of the hand (rounded to the nearest half inch; 1 inch = 2.54cm) is numerically equal to the worker's average glove size.

  • Measuring the hands in this way will not account for all possible variations in hand size. Some workers, for example, may have long fingers, while others will have short fingers. Workers may find gloves that are one-half or even a full size larger or smaller than the measured hand size fit more comfortably.

 Size #  XS  S  M  L  XL  XXL
 Size  6  7  8  9  10  11

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 374: 2003

Standard EN 374: 2003



Scope

This standard specifies the capability of gloves to protect the user against chemicals and/or micro-organisms.

Definitions


Penetration

Penetration is the movement of a chemical and/or micro-organism through porous materials, seams, pinholes or other imperfections in a protective glove material at a non-molecular level.

Permeation

The rubber and plastic films in gloves do not always act as barriers to liquids. Sometimes they can act as sponges, soaking up the liquids and holding them against the skin. It is therefore necessary to measure breakthrough times, or the time taken for the hazardous liquid to come in contact with the skin.

Requirements

• The minimum liquid proof section of the glove shall be at least equal to the minimum length of the gloves specified in EN 420.
• Penetration: A glove shall not leak when tested to an air and/or water leak test, and shall be tested and inspected in compliance with the Acceptable Quality Level.

 Performance Level  Acceptable Quality Level Unit  Inspection Levels
 Level 3  < 0.65  G1
 Level 2  < 1.5  G1
 Level 1  < 4.0  S4


EN 374 Chemical Hazards

The 'chemical resistant' glove pictogram must be accompanied by a 3-digit code. This code refers to the code letters of the chemicals (from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals), for which a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes has been obtained.

 Code Letter  Chemical  CAS Number  Class
 A  Methanol  67-56-1  Primary Alcohol
 B  Acetone  67-64-1  Ketone
 C  Acetonitrile  75-05-8  Nitrile compound
 D  Dichloromethane  75-09-2  Chlorinated paraffin
 E  Carbon disulphide  75-15-0  Sulphur containing organic compound
 F  Toluene  108-88-3  Aromatic hydrocarbon
 G  Diethylamine  109-89-7  Amine
 H  Tetrahydrofurane  109-99-9  Heterocyclic and ether compound
 I  Ethyl acetate  141-78-6  Ester
 J  n-Heptane  142-85-5  Saturated hydrocarbon
 K  Sodium hydroxide 40%  1310-73-2  Inorganic base
 L  Sulphuric acid 96%  7664-93-9  Inorganic mineral acid

Permeation

Each chemical tested is classified in terms of breakthrough time (performance level 0 to 6).

 Measured Breakthrough Time  Protection Index  Measured Breakthrough Time  Protection Index
 > 10 minutes  class 1  > 120 minutes  class 4
 > 30 minutes  class 2  > 240 minutes  class 5
 > 60 minutes  class 3  > 480 minutes  class 6


EN 374-3

The ‘low chemical resistant’ or ‘waterproof ’ glove pictogram is to be used for those gloves that do not achieve a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes against at least three chemicals from the defined list, but which comply with the penetration test.

EN 374 Micro-Organism Hazards

The ‘micro-organism’ pictogram is to be used when the glove conforms to at least a performance level 2 for the penetration test.


Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 388: 2003

Standard EN 388: 2003



Scope

This standard applies to all kinds of protective gloves in respect of physical and mechanical aggressions caused by abrasion, blade cut, puncture and tearing.

Definition and Requirements

Protection against mechanical hazards is expressed by a pictogram followed by four numbers (performance levels), each representing test performance against a specific hazard.

EN 388 Mechanical Hazards

The 'mechanical risks' pictogram is accompanied by a 4-digit code.



a. Resistance to Abrasion
Based on the number of cycles required to abrade through the sample glove.

b. Blade Cut Resistance
Based on the number of cycles required to cut through the sample at a constant speed.

c. Tear Resistance
Based on the amount of force required to tear the sample.

d. Puncture Resistance
Based on the amount of force required to pierce the sample with a standard-sized point.

In all cases, (0) indicates the lowest level of performace, as follows:

Test/Performance Level Rating
   0  1  2  3  4  5
 a. Abrasion resistance (cycles)  <100  100  500  2,000  8,000  
 b. Blade cut resistance (factor)  <1.2  1.2  2.5  5.0  10.0  20.0
 c. Tear resistance (newton)  <10  10  25  50  75  
 d. Puncture resistance (newton)  <20  20  60  100  150  

These performance levels must be prominently displayed alongside the pictogram on the gloves and on the packaging which immediately contains the gloves.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 407: 2004

Standard EN 407: 2004



Scope

This standard specifies thermal performance for protective gloves against heat and/or fire.

Definition and Requirements

The nature and degree of protection is shown by a pictogram followed by a series of six performance levels, relating to specific protective qualities.

Standard EN 407: 2004

The 'heat and flame' pictogram is accompanied by a 6-digit number:



a. Resistance to Flammability (performance level 0-4)
Based on the length of time the material continues to burn and glow after the source of ignition is removed. The seams of the glove shall not come apart after an ignition time of 15 seconds.

b. Contact Heat Resistance (performance level 0-4)
Based on the temperature range (100-500°C) at which the user will feel no pain for at least 15 seconds. If an EN level 3 or higher is obtained, the product shall record at least EN level 3 in the flammability test. Otherwise, the maximum contact heat level shall be reported as level 2.

c. Convective Heat Resistance (performance level 0-4)
Based on the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat from a flame. A level of performance shall only be mentioned if a performance level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test.

d. Radiant Heat Resistance (performance level 0-4)
Based on the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat when exposed to a radiant heat source. A performance level shall only be mentioned if a performance level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test.

e. Resistance to Small Splashes of Molten Metal (performance level 0-4)
The number of molten metal drops required to heat the glove sample to a given level. A performance level shall only be mentioned if a performance level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test.

f. Resistance to Large Quantities of Molten Metal (performance level 0-4)
The weight of molten metal required to cause smoothing or pinholing across a simulated skin placed directly behind the glove sample. The test is failed if metal droplets remain stuck to the glove material or if the specimen ignites.

Gloves must achieve at least performance level 1 for abrasion and tear.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 511: 2006

Standard EN 511: 2006



Scope

This standard applies to any gloves to protect the hands against convective and contact cold down to -50°C.

Definition and Requirements

Protection against cold is expressed by a pictogram followed by a series of 3 performance levels, relating to specific protective qualities.

Standard EN 511: 2006

The 'cold hazard' pictogram is accompanied by a 3-digit number:



a. Resistance to Convective Cold (performance level 0-4)
Based on the thermal insulation properties of the glove which are obtained by measuring the transfer of cold via convection.

b. Resistance to Contact Cold (performance level 0-4)
Based on the thermal resistance of the glove material when exposed to contact with a cold object.

c. Penetration by Water (0 or 1)
0 = water penetration
1 = no water penetration

All gloves must achieve at least performance level 1 for abrasion and tear.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 421: 2010

Standard EN 421: 2010



Scope

This standard applies to gloves to protect from ionising radiation and radioactive contamination.

Definition and Requirements

The nature of protection is shown by a pictogram relating to the specific protective qualities.

Protection from Radioactive Contamination

To protect from radioactive contamination, the glove has to be liquid proof and needs to pass the penetration test defined in Gloves.


• For gloves used in containment enclosures, the glove shall pass in addition to a specific air pressure leak test.
• Materials may be modelled by their behaviour to ozone cracking. This test is optional and can be used as an aid to selecting gloves.

Protection from Ionising Radiation

To protect from ionising radiation, the glove has to contain a certain amount of lead or equivalent metal, quoted as lead equivalence. This lead equivalence must be marked on each glove.


Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 1149

Standard EN 1149



Scope

This standard specifies the requirements and test methods for materials used in the manufacturing of electrostatic dissipative protective clothing (gloves) to avoid electrostatic discharges.

Definition and Requirements

As per EN 420:2003, it is defined that the electrostatic properties shall be tested as per the test methods described in EN 1149.

1. EN 1149 - Part 1 defines the test to measure surface resistivity/resistance (ohm) = resistance in ohm along the surface of the material, between two specified electrodes (resting on the test specimen and a potential of 100±5V.



2. EN 1149 - Part 2 defines the test to measure vertical resistance (ohm) = resistance in ohm through a material, between two electrodes placed on opposite surfaces of the test specimen and a potential of 100±5V.



3. EN 1149 - Part 3 defines the test to measure the half decay time T50 (s) = the time it takes for a material to achieve a 50% decay of a charge induced on the material via an electrode.

4. EN 1149 - Part 5 defines the criteria to claim antistaticity for gloves:
• Surface resistance < 2.5x109 (ohm) (or Surface resistivity < 5x1010 (ohm) OR
• Charge decay time T50 < 4s
• For vertical resistance (ohm), there are no set criteria defined.

As per the EN 420 standard, no anti-static pictogram shall be used.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

Standard EN 12477: 2001

Standard EN 12477: 2001


Scope

This standard applies to protective gloves for use in manual metal
welding, cutting and allied processes.

Requirements

EN 12477: Protection gloves for welders
Standard for manual metal welding

Compliance to EN 420 except for lengths:
Size 6: 300mm
Size 7: 310mm
Size 8: 320mm
Size 9: 330mm
Size 10: 340mm
Size 11: 350mm

 Requirements (EN levels)  Type A  Type B (High Dexterity, Tig Welding)
 Abrasion  2  1
 Cut  1  1
 Tear  2  1
 Puncture  2  1
 Burning behaviour  3  2
 Contact heat  1  1
 Convective heat  2  --
 Small splashes  3  2
 Dexterity  1  4

Type B gloves are recommended when high dexterity is required as for TIG welding, while Type A gloves are recommended for other welding processes.
Type A or B to be marked on the product, its packaging and in the instructions for use.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

REACH

REACH

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals

European firms that make or import more than one tonne of chemical substance per year had to pre-register that chemical substance if it is within a release agent on an article or within a preparation (mixture of chemical substances).
A second pillar of the REACH legislation is the notification of substances of very high concern (SVHC), i.e. chemicals with indications of impact on the environment and/or health. In October 2008, REACH published its first Candidate List with such SVHC chemicals which has been amended in January 2010 and June 2010 and December 2010. Companies now have the obligation to inform everyone involved in their supply chain if they use any of the Candidate List substances in concentrations over 0.1% w/w within their articles (e.g. gloves) or within preparations. Companies can continue to use these SVHCs up to a certain date that still need to be defined by the European Commission and then, only if application is made to the ECHA for 'Authorization for continued use of the SVHC', companies can continue to use them after that date.

Information taken from 'A revised guide to EN standards for gloves' written by Ansell, 2011.

AQL

AQL

Acceptable Quality Level

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) is a statistical measure of the consistency or quality predictor of manufactured goods. It applies to all batch type production as a means of ensuring that the process average meets the standards determined. For medical products, it is critical that the products are manufactured to a very high standard at all times. Surgical and examination gloves are essential barrier protection items and neither you nor your patients want to receive a defective glove, however very rarely this may occur.

Recyclable

Recyclable

Some elements of the product and/or packaging are recyclable.


This symbol indicates that an object is capable of being recycled - not that the object has been recycled.

Single Use Only

Single Use Only


A device designated as 'single-use' must not be reused. It should only be used once and then discarded. It is not intended to be reprocessed and used again.

Keep in a cool dry place

Keep in a cool dry place


This pictogram indicates that you should store the product in a cool, dry place.

Keep away from direct sunlight or fluorescent light

Keep away from direct sunlight or fluorescent light


This pictogram indicates that you should keep products away from direct sunlight or fluorescent light.

Temperature

Temperature


This pictogram indicates that you should store at your product at temperatures no less than 5°C and no more than 25°C.

Powder Free Product

Powder Free Product


This pictogram indicates that the product is powder free.

Latex Free Product

Latex Free Product

This pictogram indicates that the product is latex free. Latex was not used to make your product.

Product Contains Latex

Product Contains Latex

This pictogram is a warning that the product contains latex.

Product Contains Powder

Product Contains Powder

This pictogram is a warning that the product contains powder

Product can be used within the food industry

Product can be used within the food industry

This pictogram indicates that a product can be used with the food industry
according to the European Regulation 1935-2004.

Product found in the food industry

Product found in the food industry

This pictogram indicates that the product can be found in the food industry.