New Testing Methods and Scores
The EN 388, similar to ANSI/ISEA 105, is the European standard used to evaluate mechanical risks for hand protection. Gloves with a EN 388 rating are third party tested, and rated for abrasion, cut, tear, and puncture resistance. Cut resistance is rated 1-5, while all other physical performance factors are rated 1-4. Up until now, the EN 388 standard used only the “Coup Test” to test for cut resistance. The new EN 388 2016 standard uses both the “Coup Test” and the “TDM-100 Test” to measure cut resistance for a more accurate score. Also included in the updated standard is a new Impact Protection test.
Two Testing Methods for Cut
As discussed above, the most significant change to the EN 388 2016 standard is the formal inclusion of the ISO 13997 cut test method. ISO 13997, also known as the “TDM-100 Test” is similar to the ASTM F2992-15 test method used in the ANSI 105 standard. Both standards will now make use of the TDM machine with the sliding blade and weights. After many years with differing testing methods it was found that the blade used in the “Coup Test” would dull quickly when testing yarns with high levels of glass and steel fibers. This resulted in unreliable cut scores, so the need for including the “TDM-100 Test” to the new EN 388 2016 standard was strongly supported.
Explanation of Critical Changes
Learn more about the 2016 revisions to the EN 388 standard concerning hand protection against mechanical risks in this video from our partners at DSM Dyneema. It explains and demonstrates the critical changes on cut resistance testing to safety professionals and the personal protective equipment industry.
Can We Expect?
All PIP products with the EN 388 shield printed on them will be updated as the new standard becomes ratified by each country and new production orders are placed. We anticipate this will happen by late 2017. The new shield will be easy to identify as it will carry a 6-digit score rather than a 4-digit one.
How will the glove markings change?
PIP will show all the scores, but some manufacturers may skip the “Coup Test,” if they know the material will dull the circular blade after a certain number of cycles, choosing only to show the ISO 13997 (“TDM-100 Test”) score. Depending on the products, this process could take several months before these changes are seen in the field. For that reason, it’s important to always refer to the manufacturer spec sheets for the latest information.
Can gloves that comply with the old EN 388 standard continue to be sold?
Yes, compliance is not mandatory for North America so it is possible that some manufacturers may choose not to change. PIP is a global company and we test all of our gloves that are available globally to all new standards.
Please contact your PIP representative, or call (800)262-5755.