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Standard EN 420: 2003

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. 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.

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.

  • 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 (less than 10 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.

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

  • If required, performance to be graded as per 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 & Information
Marking of the glove
  • 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'
- 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 instruction
  • 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.

Glove Sizing ChartOrdering 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

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)

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