Homepage / Employer / Working environment / Organizing working environment / Personal Protective Equipment

Working Gloves

Viimati uuendatud: 25.11.2016

Working Gloves

In the working environment, several injuries could endanger the hands – bruises, cuts, burns, chemicals, etc. No glove protects the hands in all different situations. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the risk for each work separately and choose a glove that protects the most in the case of the specific work.

Gloves must certainly be worn when welding, handling objects with sharp edges (except working with devices where gloves could get stuck), handling acids and alkali, doing plant protection works, meat deboning and cutting, using a hand knife, and replacing the cutting blades of different tools and machines.

Broadly, protection gloves can be classified as disposable (e.g. some latex gloves) and reusable (most of the protection gloves); and then, depending on the type and protection properties, into three categories:

  • Category 1 – protects against small hazards. This category includes household gloves protecting against detergents and gloves protecting against objects the temperature of which does not exceed +50°C. The rest of the gloves in this category can be used for lighter works (e.g. gardening).
  • Category 2 – all gloves that are not in categories 1 and 3. This includes gloves that may be used when the hazard is not classified as too small or too hazardous. Gloves in this category protect against mechanical hazard in compliance with the standard EN 388 and against cold or heat damages (standard EN 407).
  • Category 3 – protects against severe hazards in dangerous environments. Gloves in this category protect against severe and permanent damages (e.g. handling aggressive chemicals). To protect hands from aggressive substances/chemicals, choose a glove compliant to the European standard EN 374-3. Prior to use it must be      verified that the material of the chosen gloves protects against the      handled substance and how long will it last in an aggressive environment.  It must be kept in mind that manufacturers describe resistance against pure chemicals, not contact with different solutions.

Choosing Work Gloves

To simplify, four main factors determine which gloves must be worn for the specific task:

  • (a) type of the hazard (chemical, physical, etc.),
  • (b) task (for example, electrician, painter and welder – all need to protect their hands, but their tasks are completely different, making them need different gloves),
  • (c) user’s specifics (size and fit, health conditions, etc.; including allergies against latex, chromium, etc.),
  • (d) workplace conditions (ergonomics, temperature, dry or wet, etc.).

All the aforementioned factors must be taken into consideration together, not separately, because their co-operation is important. A good and suitable glove must fit and feel comfortable, not being too big or too tight.

Overview of Most Widespread Gloves

  • Cotton and fabric gloves keep hands clean and protect them from scratches and abrasions, but may not be strong enough to protect against harder work or sharp materials.
  • Gloves from covered fabric could offer protection against moderately concentrated chemicals. They can be used at laboratory works if they are      strong enough to protect against the specific chemical.
  • Gloves from rubber, foil or synthetics can be used at cleaning works or when handling oils, solvents and other chemicals.
  • Leather gloves are used at welding because leather tolerates sparks and moderate heat. Also, the risk of wounds and bruises can be reduced by wearing leather gloves.
  • Aluminium-covered gloves are recommended for welding, casting and melting works as they offer hear reflecting and insulating protection.
  • Kevlar gloves have several industrial applications. They are resistant to cuts and wear, and protect against both hot and cold.
  • Gloves of metal grid or containing metal grid are mostly used in meat and fish industry, for the cutting and handling processes, and when replacing cutter blades.

Gloves that are resistant to chemicals/liquids offer protection against specific chemicals:

  • gloves of butyl rubber: nitric acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid and peroxide;
  • rubber gloves of natural latex: water or acids, alkali, salts and ketones;
  • neoprene gloves: hydraulic fluids, petrol, alcohols and organic acids;
  • nitrile rubber gloves: chlorinated solvents.


Before beginning to work, make sure that the gloves are unharmed, suitable for the work and comfortable to wear. When finishing the work and depending on the work and the gloves’ specifics, gloves must either be cleaned, washed or utilized. Reusable gloves must be replaced if they age, get too soiled or worn, or if they rip.

The most important standards that regulate the properties of work and protective gloves are outlined below.

  • EN 388 – describes the mechanical resistance. A 4-digit code is marked on the product, under the hammer icon, where each number indicates the glove’s resistance to (order from left to right) wear, cut, tear or stab, and gives the evaluation on the scale of 1 to 4 (except cut-proof, which is evaluated on the scale 1-5) – greater numbers marking a better result;
  • EN 420 – general requirements on gloves;
  • EN 407 – describes heat and flame resistant gloves. The corresponding properties are marked on the glove, under the flame icon, with a number on the scale 1-6 – greater number marks a greater heat resistance;
  • EN 374 – describes gloves that protect against chemical and      microbiological factors;
  • EN 60903 – describes high voltage insulating gloves on the scale 00-4, indicating the voltage resistance value – greater number marks a greater resistance;
  • EN 10819 – vibration lowering gloves are marked following this standard (decreasing vibration in the range of 200 Hz to 1250 Hz by up to 40%).

Külastusi 4156, sellel kuul 4156

Contact Us

Font size

Line space


About accessibility

We are committed to making this website accessible to as many people as possible.