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Work Types Requiring Cut Resistant Gloves - A Detailed Guide
The right safety wear is important to protect the hands from hazards. Sharp edges, objects, and blades are common hazards at most workplaces. The other risks to the hands are slashes, lacerations, and nicks. In the year 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 143000 hand injuries. Therefore, wearing cut-resistant gloves is important. The Bureau also reported 69% of the 1000000 hand injuries to be because of punctures and lacerations. Thirty percent of these were because the workers did not wear safety gloves. We will discuss the regulations, industries, and types of protection offered by cut-resistant gloves.
Characteristics Of Cut-Resistant Gloves
To decide what kind of cut resistant gloves you need. You will have to evaluate the working conditions and the tools you handle. The selection will be made based on applications of the gloves. Cut-resistant gloves are designed to prevent direct contact with metal, glass, ceramics, and other sharp materials. In other words, industries working with these materials require cut-resistant safety gloves.
The cut resistance depends upon the material and its thickness. The cut protection can be increased by increasing the weight of the material, i.e., once per square yard. Cut-resistant gloves may be metallic or non-metallic. Metallic ones are made of metal mesh or chain-mail made from stainless steel rings. These washable and useful in food applications. Cut and sewn gloves have a full or palm lining of a cut-resistant material. Seamless gloves are knitted by a flat knitting machine. They may be made of;
- Para-aramid gloves such as Kevlar, Twaron, etc. Protect from radiant and conductive heat.
- High-Performance Polyethylene (HPPE) gloves such as Dyneema, Spectra, etc. Protect from abrasions and cuts
- Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) yarns such as SupraBlock. Abrasion, puncture, snag and cut resistant
- Fiberglass yarn gloves are used for electrical and loft insulation
- Steel fiber yarn use knitting machines to weave gauge 7, 18, or 21 wires into gloves. Such gloves are used in food processing. They are cut and puncture resistant.
- Steel covered in nitrile, foamed latex, or polyurethane. Protects from sharp materials and harsh chemicals
The performance characteristics of these gloves are not only affected by the material composition and weight. It depends upon the coatings applied on the outer surface. Styles that weigh less offer dexterity while preventing fatigue.
The heavier gloves offer abrasion and cut protection. The coating on the glove enhances the grip, especially while working in slippery and wet conditions. Some coated gloves may not be suitable for some applications such as food handling.
Levels Of Cut Protection And Industry Standards
The American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) 105-2016 document states that the American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification defines;
- the performance levels of cut resistance
- hypodermic needle puncture
- abrasion resistance and
- blunt object puncture resistance
This standard offers guidance on test methods and the pass-fail criteria for hand protection products. The employer can take their pick based on their needs and applications.
ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 is the 4th revision of this voluntary consensus standard. The first edition was published in 1999, revised in 2005 and 2011. Significant changes have been made in the cut-resistance classification and its determination.
For classification purposes, a single test method – ASTM F2992-15 – has been selected. The number of classification levels has been expanded. This expansion addresses the gap between levels that marred the earlier versions.
The earlier standard, ANSI/ISEA 105-2011, allowed the cut-resistance classification to be determined by the ASTM F1790-97 or F1790-05. Then it would use the standardized Cut Resistance Performance calculator.
Meanwhile, the European Standard EN 388 titled – Protective Gloves Ricks employs different level groupings. It also mentions two cut test methods that differ from each other. These standards were revised in 2016.
The Methods Of Cut Test
It is important to understand the different standards and test methods while specifying the cut protection gloves.
ASTM F1790-97 is a test method from 1997. It is the original standard test for measuring the cut resistance of various materials using protective clothing. Developed by DuPont, this method is used by laboratories with the machine used for the Cut Protection Performance Test (CPPT).
ASTM F1790-05 is a test method developed in 2005. This ASTM test measures the cut resistance using the Tomodynamometer (TDM). The revision was harmonized with the ISO 13997 test method. Though the method can be used for CPPT and TDM machines. The practice has been of using the ASTM 1790-97 Standard for the CPPT and ASTM 1790-05 Standard for the TDM.
ASTM F2992-15 Standard method uses the Tomodynamometer (TDM). The machine measures cut resistance at a distance of 20mm with a straight blade. The results are reported in gm and represent 9 additional levels A1 – A9. These levels replaced the older 5-point scale that allows the additional levels of up to 6000 grams. These account for materials with higher cut resistance.
EN 388-2016 is the European Norm for Protective Gloves to guard against Mechanical Hazards. The revised standard continues to use the Coup Test also – it uses the ISO 13997. This test uses the Tomodynamometer (TDM) to address the limitations of the Coup Test. Using the ISO 13997 is a major step as a test using the TDM is aligned to the ASTM F1790-05 and F2992-15 methods.
The test methods of ISO 13997, ASTM F1790-97, and F1790-05 – apply a straight-edge blade to cut the sample. This blade is under load and moves along a straight path. The sample is cut five times at three variable loads.
This data is then used to determine the load required to cut through a sample which is at the reference distance of 25mm of blade travel for ASTM F1790-97. And at 20mm for the ASTM F1790-05 and ISO 13997. This is called the cutting or rating force. The higher the rating force, the more cut resistant the glove material. The control or standard material is Neoprene rubber. It is used to test the blade’s sharpness.
For the ASTM F2992-15 test method, a rectangular piece of the glove material is placed on the mandrel of the TDM device. The blade moves back and forth over the material until it cuts through the material. This device measures the distance the blade traveled before it cut through the material. The cut-through is indicated by the blade making electrical contact through this sample material on the mandrel.
The distance traveled by the blade is determined by the weights attached to the arm of the device that holds the blade. These results are used to determine the weight required to cut through the glove material for a 20mm blade travel. Three weights are used for a minimum of 15 cuts. An average is drawn for all these test scores and converted into the A1 to A9 scale.
For the EN 388 Coup Test, a circular blade with a fixed load is moved back and forth over the sample until it is cut through. Cotton canvas is used as reference material. The reference material and test sample are cut alternately.
This is done until five results are obtained. The cut resistance is the ratio of the number of cycles required to cut through the test material versus the reference material. The result is called the cut index. The higher the cut index, the higher the cut resistance of the material.
This test becomes ineffective while testing high-performance materials as they dull the blade. For such materials, the TDM or ISO Cut test is recommended in the EN 388-2016 / ISO 13997 Standards. These tests measure the cut resistance over a distance of 20mm with the straight blade. The test results are reported in Newtons. (1 Newton = 101.97 grams).
Comparison Of Standards
There is comparative data for the above-mentioned tests.
ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 vs ANSI/ISEA 105-2011
Cut Resistant Levels in Grams
EN 388-2016 Cut Index Performance Levels by Coup Test
EN 388-2016 & ISO 13997 Cut Resistant Levels in Newtons & Grams by TDM Test
ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 vs EN 388-2016 / ISO 13997
Cut Resistant Levels in Grams
The EN 388-2016 Markings
(Even though the changes to the EN 388 are mandatory. There may be different markings for identification and performance rankings on the gloves tested by EN 388 methods. New certifications are required after a maximum of 5 years.)
How do foot compression socks work?
Feet compression socks gently compress the feet at the heels to provide arch support. They help reduce swelling or edema and foot pain caused by certain medical conditions like diabetes, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, etc.
Can you wear plantar fasciitis socks at night?
It is best to wear compression socks only during the day. However, you can wear them all night if your doctor has specifically asked you to do so. Some people experience extreme foot pain at night while sleeping. For them, plantar fasciitis socks can give some relief.
How many hours a day can you wear compression socks?
Your doctor will guide you about the correct time to wear compression socks for. Some people get relief from wearing them all day. However, it is advisable to remove the socks at night or at least for a few hours each day. Speak to your doctor about the right way to use compression socks.
Who should not use compression socks?
Doctors advise against the use of compression socks for people with vascular disease or those with circulation issues or conditions affecting the lower extremities. Always check with your physician before self-prescribing compression socks.
Who should wear compression socks?
Athletes and sportspersons, people with diabetic neuropathy, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, swollen feet, Achilles heel, painful bunions, etc. and those recovering from foot injuries can benefit from compression socks. However, you must check with your doctor first before using them.
Can compression socks cause harmful effects?
Compression socks are not for everyone. You must wear them only if your doctor has prescribed them for painful foot-related conditions, or for comfort during sports and running. They can be harmful because the pressure can sometimes be too much. Wearing compression socks over broken skin or open wounds can worsen the infection. You must never wear compression socks at a stretch for prolonged periods of time.
There are many types of socks for foot pain but you must only use them if your doctor has prescribed them. In general, compression socks, toe separator socks, socks with copper ions etc. can be useful in providing much needed relief from various painful conditions of the feet.
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