Time to put the gloves on

Health, Safety and Wellbeing September 21, 2019

Having just been featured in the July 2018 issue of Health & Safety International magazine discussing the procurement of personal protective equipment, Andrew Johnson has again spoken to the leading safety publication, this time focusing on glove protection. In the September 2018 edition, Andrew examines the revised BS EN 388:2016 protective glove test standard and helps to dispel any confusions that the new changes might bring. Before he left the company for pastures new, Andrew was the safety, health and environment manager at Envirolab (an RSK company).

The BS EN 388:2016 is a new mechanical resistance testing standard designed to make selecting the right protective gloves much easier. The introduction of the new standard will be a legal requirement by 2021.

“BS EN 388:2016 is ushering in a simple visual information format known as pictograms that must be displayed clearly and permanently on all future gloves,” Andrew explains to readers. “The first pictogram number will be a measure of the glove’s resistance to abrasion. The second will rank its circular blade cut resistance. Tear resistance is shown by a third numeral and puncture resistance by a fourth. The fifth indicator will be a letter, rather than a number, and refers to the straight blade cut test. When neither circular nor straight blade tests have been made, an ‘X’ will be shown. The final designation will be a ‘P’ mark when gloves meet detailed impact resistance requirements.” Andrew goes on to explain the changes that the standard will bring for testing abrasion, circular cutting, straight blade cutting, tear resistance and more.

“The introduction of BS EN 388: 2016 is a major step forward,” says Andrew. “Our challenge is to make sure that everyone understands what the new pictogram system means, the dangers involved in ignoring it and the inadvisability of taking shortcuts. Hands really are irreplaceable.”

“I believe passionately that employees should leave work in the same state of injury-free health and wellbeing as when they arrived. Achieving that really is a hands-on task!”

You can read Andrew’s article in full on the Health & Safety International website.

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