EN388:2003 & 2016 Protective Gloves Against Mechanical Risks

This standard applies to all kinds of protective gloves in respect of physical and mechanical aggressions caused by abrasion, blade cut, tearing and puncture. This standard is only applicable in conjunction with EN420.

The EN388: 2003 pictogram is accompanied by 4 numbers which indicate;

Abrasion – 1-4
Blade Cut Resistance – 1-5 Performance Index
Tear Resistance – 1-4 1-being min. performance rating
Puncture – 1-4

Changes to EN388 Standard - EN388: 2016

Any sample tested for cut resistance using the existing coup method, which blunts the blade used in the test, will have to be additionally tested using the ISO cut method

There will be 6 cut levels defined on the ISO cut method. Levels A, B and C are new. Level D is a different value from level previous quoted as Level 4. Level E is the same value previously quoted as Level 5.   Level F is also new and is the highest cut resistance value;

Back of hand protection (impact protection testing) is now included

The markings used on the glove will be slightly different, with an additional EP on the pictogram.

3   means the sample achieved level 3 for abrasion
4   means the sample achieved level 4 for coup cut
4   means the sample achieved level 4 for tear
3   means the sample achieved level 3 for puncture
E   means the sample achieved level E for ISO cut which was tested due to blade blunting during the coup test
P   means the sample passes the requirement for impact protection


What does it mean for me?
- This change only affects new products being certified once the standard has been published
- As with any new PPE standard, it does not apply retrospectively
- Over the next few years, you will see more and more products carrying this standard
- It will allow products offering higher levels of cut protection to be identified