The human hand is one of the most important tools in the workplace, as well as one of the most common areas of workplace injury. While new requirements have been put into place in support of PPE standards for hand protection from hazards such as cuts and chemical exposure, there hasn’t been a standardized test to protect the hand from the various impact hazards some work environments present.
An impact glove is a work glove that has a layer of shock absorbing material to protect the hands and fingers from punctures and crushing injuries. The impact standard test has always been a simple pass-fail test. In 2019 these impact glove assessments were expanded, as the Internal Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) published 138 standards for the performance and classification of work gloves designed for impact hazards. In these 138 standards, the performance of an impact glove is determined by how much average force is measured. A lower transmitted force measurement indicates a glove that offers more hand protection. Gloves are grouped into three tiered levels of glove protection categories:
- Level one is for light impact gloves that are under nine kilonewton, the industry standard force of gravity rating
- Level two is for medium impact gloves that are under six and a half kilonewtons
- Level three is for high impact gloves that are under four kilonewtons
The 138 standards are measured with an impact tester, which is a machine that releases a five-and-a-half-pound striker from a set height onto a prepared glove. You can learn more about the testing method here.
To continue to meet the ISEA 138 impact test standards, Ringers Gloves uses cutting edge technology and the highest-quality materials. For example, our Roughneck Series utilizes Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR) impact protection on top of the hand and the full length of the fingers for superior hand protection. The TPR helps absorb the majority of the force experienced upon impact so the user’s bones aren’t injured. Our impact gloves have been formulated to provide the right amount of softness and structure to maintain optimal dexterity without compromising protection. Using science to fuel innovation, we study the anatomy of the hand closely, conduct ongoing research on hand mechanics and experiment with the most protective materials in our custom-designed glove molds. As hands are the most important tools in nearly every occupation, impact gloves must go through rigorous testing to ensure they can reliably prevent hand injuries at work.
Ringers impact gloves are thoroughly tested to ensure full range protection against the ISEA 138 standards. Ringers gloves also undergo various methods of in-house testing to guarantee our users receive the most dependable impact protection. We commend all the work ISEA has done to ensure there is standardization in safety testing. You can read more about the work they have done here. With the new ISEA 138 impact standards, personal protective equipment customers can compare glove performance using a standardized measure of protection.