Use of cut resistant and puncture resistant gloves can afford an added layer of protection, along with proper process design, to personnel. Not all gloves provide the same protection or the same performance in all situations.
Cut resistant gloves refer to gloves that can withstand cuts from sharp objects. This may include blades, glass, knives, and tools in construction or automotive work. They help to prevent cuts or abrasions after using tools and reduce the risk of injury.
Puncture resistance refers to the amount of force or stress a glove can take before tools or sharp objects can pierce through or rip the glove. Puncture resistant gloves are not necessarily cut resistant and cut resistant gloves are not necessarily puncture resistant. Puncture resistant gloves may offer resistance to needles, and other finer tools.
It is important to note that no glove is necessarily cut or puncture proof. The term resistant is used to denote that a glove offers extra durability and protection against cuts or punctures.
More information is available from the Cut and Puncture Prevention fact sheet (https://ehs.umass.edu/cut-and-puncture-prevention).
The EN 388 (European) and ANSI/ISEA 105 (American) symbols are used to describe the performance of gloves rated for mechanical hazard protection. Each system uses a cut resistance test, called the TDM-100 test, which measures the gram force of a cutting load a glove can tolerate before being penetrated. The EN 388 system also uses a Coup test, which is based on an assigned cut index of the material used to make the glove. Some glove materials can dull the test blade and lead to erroneous results. As a result, Coup tests are sometimes omitted. Please refer to the graphics below for explanations on how to read the markings and how to choose the right gloves for your work. Note also that both systems were updated in 2016, so explanations for both the new and old markings are indicated.