Hand Safety Spotlight

Understanding The New Dorsal Impact Standard ANSI ISEA 138

ANSI ISEA 138 Blog

For many companies, the challenge has been to adequately evaluate the impact protection that is offered in the marketplace as no appropriate standard effectively measures impact performance. That is about to change.

This year, the ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association) will work towards the adoption of a new impact standard that will establish a reliable way to evaluate and assess the quality of impact protection within a glove.  If you’re unsure about these changes – don’t worry. We’ve created a guide that explains the new ANSI ISEA 138 impact ratings.

ANSI ISEA 138 Scope

Establish “minimum performance, classification, and labeling requirements for hand protection products designed to protect the knuckles and fingers from impact forces, while performing occupational tasks.”

ANSI ISEA 138 Testing 

The test methodology calls for specific preparation and conditioning of the gloves. The test utilizes a flat striking face. The palm side is removed from the glove and impact locations (see below) are marked. The samples are mounted centrally on an anvil while 2.5kg mass is dropped with an impact energy of 5J.


Peak transmitted force will be recorded by a force transducer beneath the anvil. The lower the transmitted force, the greater degree of protection. The impact test will be performed on the knuckles and fingers separately. The highest mean transmitted force between the tests is recorded. For example, if the knuckle rating is two, but the fingers rating is one, one will be assigned to the glove.



ANSI ISEA 138 Ratings 

There will be three performance levels which will offer numerical representation for the impact protection the glove provides. The rating of the glove will reflect the lowest performance level recorded across multiple tests. Level one will be the lowest rating for impact protection, and level three will be the highest rating.




Straightforward enough, right? We know this standard might seem overly-complicated, but the benefits are two-fold: safety managers and PPE purchasers can compare gloves using this measure of glove impact protection, and the users benefit from better impact resistant glove options. 

As the Hand Safety Experts, we at Ringers’ are proud of the hand protection that we have provided to our clients over the past 20+ years. You may not know that impact protection has been, and always will be, our specialty. Our gloves incorporate fit, form and function into every style to ensure the gloves remain on and hands protected. All of Ringers Gloves are tested and certified by third-party laboratories to ensure they meet our clients’ demanding expectations.

Because we have strong roots in the Oil and Gas Industry where crush and pinch injuries are common, we have spent years refining our impact protection. The TPR (thermoplastic rubber) we use on our impact gloves is a proprietary formula that reduces the force of impact in key areas including on fingers and knuckles, while also maintaining a level of softness for flexibility. Case studies show that our gloves reduce the rate of incident and severity of hand injuries as well as overall spend when compared to the competition.

Did you know? Ringers Gloves are rated best-in-class for dexterity plus impact protection! Download our brochure to see the results and comparisons to other brands.

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If you’d like more information on these changes, and what they mean for you, send us a message! We’re here to help; hand safety is our specialty. 

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Category: Hand Safety, Gloves, Safety Metric, ISEA, ISEA 138, ANSI