American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria
American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria, ANSI/ISEA 105-2011, is designed to assist users and employers to select appropriate gloves for identifiable workplace hazards that could result in chemical burns, severe cuts and lacerations, and burns caused by heat and flame exposures. ANSI/ISEA 105-2011 was developed by ISEA’s Hand Protection Group and was reviewed by a consensus panel representing chemical handling professionals, testing facilities, utility providers, and government agencies.
Before publication of the first edition of this standard in 2000, the practice of rating work gloves’ protection level as "good, fair or poor" created inconsistencies among glove manufacturers in rating their gloves’ ability to provide protection. ANSI/ISEA 105 provides a consistent, numeric-scale method for manufacturers to rate their products against certain contaminants and exposures. With classification based on this scale, users can make better-informed decisions about which gloves are suitable for which tasks.
Glove performance and pass/fail criteria are included for the following hazardous exposures: cut, puncture and abrasion resistance; chemical permeation and degradation; detection of holes; vibration reduction, and heat and flame resistance. Updates reflected in the 2011 edition focus on distinct test methods to determine a glove’s abrasion resistance depending on the material type, and cited test methods to ensure they represent the state of the art in materials performance and technology.
The standard also includes a recommended hand protection selection procedure, and reference information on special considerations such as biological protection, extreme temperature applications, cleanroom applications, hazardous materials response applications, electrical protection and radiation hazards. A section on human factors describes how fit, function and comfort are incorporated into selection.
Like previous editions, ANSI/ISEA 105-2011 uses a numeric rating scheme for classifying hand protection against a variety of performance assessments. Perhaps the most notable update to the standard is the acceptance of different ASTM methods for evaluating cut-resistance performance. Some studies show that nearly 20 percent of workplace injuries involve cuts and lacerations to the hand and fingers, prompting ISEA members to focus on ways to provide meaningful information in this critical area.
“As leaders in cut-resistance solutions, ISEA members spent a significant amount of time trying to reconcile the differences between the varying cut-resistance methodologies that are widely accepted in the industry,” said Matt Reid, America Area Manager of DSM Dyneema and ISEA Hand Protection Group chairman. “We believe that allowing both test protocols represents the transition toward a single evaluation method, with appropriate classification levels, without creating a gap in a much-needed user resource.”
To this end, the updated document includes a standardized Cut Resistance Performance Calculator template for use in classifying gloves specifically designed to protect against cuts. Educating users on how to use the data in the selection process will be key. The template is available online.
“It will be important for end-users to ensure that any comparison between gloves, first and foremost, be based on the same test method,” Reid noted. “ISEA member companies keenly understand that there is a wealth of information in the market to help in the glove selection process. We are certain that ISEA’s standardized template will be a valuable tool to streamline comparisons and make the decision process easier.”
The standard can be purchased from ISEA for $33 a copy; discounts are available on bulk orders. For more information, contact Cristine Z. Fargo, ISEA director of member and technical services.