New Certification Program Launched for Cut-Resistant Gloves

The International Glove Association's president said the new program aims to clear up end users' confusion about different standard ratings.

The International Glove Association announced a new certification and standards program to help North American manufacturers, distributors, and end users determine the correct performance standards for cut-resistant gloves. IGA said its Certification and Standards 2012 Initiative Program was developed during the past four years as a way to clear up confusion about glove testing methods, guidelines, and interpretations.

"In the hand protection marketplace, there's a lot of confusion over the different standard ratings, as well as how they are misused and miscommunicated to end users," said Marty Shamis of Kimberly-Clark, IGA's president. "Recognizing a need for leadership from the hand protection industry on this issue, the IGA staked out a leadership role on setting performance standards for attributes of hand protection and certifying available products to the established standards."

Part of the confusion stems from differing standards in Europe (EN 388) and the United States (ASTM F1790-05) for evaluating gloves. The IGA Certification requires cut and abrasion testing under the supervision of the IGA and uses the applicable TDM tester and the ASTM 05 protocol, according to IGA's announcement, which said the program provides a performance rating based on the following result:

  • Level 1: less than 1.10 lbs., less than 500 grams
  • Level 2: 1.11 to 2.20 lbs., 501 to 1000 grams
  • Level 3: 2.21 to 3.41 lbs., 1001 to 1540 grams
  • Level 4: 3.42 to 4.72 lbs., 1541 to 2140 grams
  • Level 5: 4.73 to 6.72 lbs., 2141 to 3040 grams
  • Level 6: 6.73 to 8.72 lbs., 3041 to 3940 grams
  • Level 7: more than 8.73 lbs., more than 3941 grams

"We were concerned about end user confusion over how the different standard ratings worked and what those standards really meant," said Shamis. "North America needed a system to clearly provide comparable data on the performance level of hand protection products."

"The IGA has a firm grip on industry trends while striving to improve hand protection with new glove testing and certification programs," said Tom Ragan, an IGA board member and president of Shelby Specialty Gloves.

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