Standard Gives Employers, Employees a Hand With Protection

Employers and employees can use a new American National Standard from ISEA -- The Safety Equipment Association to select appropriate gloves for common workplace hazards.

OSHA mandates that employers select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection where there is workplace exposure to chemical burns, severe cuts and lacerations, or other hazards.

However, trying to select the right gloves for a particular workplace hazard can be confusing.

Now employers and employees can use a new American National Standard from ISEA -- The Safety Equipment Association to select appropriate gloves for common workplace hazards.

ANSI/ISEA 105-2000, American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria, provides guidance for selecting the correct gloves that will protect workers and assist employers in compliance with OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.138, according to ISEA Technical Director Janice Comer Bradley, CSP.

"The past 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," said Bradley. "The new standard 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; protection from cold; chemical permeation and degradation; detection of holes; and heat and flame resistance.

The new standard also includes reference information on special considerations such as biological protection, electrical protection and radiation hazards.

"Every end user is different, and no single test method can fully replicate the variety of hazards that a worker may encounter," added Bradley. "The new standard offers consistent ratings for glove performance based on reproducible, standardized test methods. User should contact glove manufacturers for information on the new glove ratings and labeling of their products that meet this standard."

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