ISEA launches new hand protection standard to prevent impact injuries
The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has released a new standard — ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection — to improve on the impact performance of industrial gloves. The new standard builds upon the widely used ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification.
ANSI/ISEA 138 will:
- Define an agreed test method
- Include three defined performance levels
- Specify a pictogram mark for each of the levels for compliant gloves
- Require products be tested in a laboratory with a certificate of accreditation meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
The U.S. and Europe have long had standards for industrial gloves that protect hands from cuts, punctures, abrasion and chemical exposure, but ANSI/ISEA 138 is the first standard to address the risk from impact injuries in North America.
“ANSI/ISEA 138 provides much-needed guidance to employers in the proper selection and use of gloves to reduce hand injuries,” said Jill Clements, Aramids Account Manager, Cut & Thermal Protection, Safety & Construction at DowDuPont Specialty Products Division and chair of the ISEA Hand Protection Group. “While ISEA members have been leaders in developing products to reduce hand injuries, and continue to create products to protect workers’ hands from impacts, cuts and abrasions, we needed a standardized method for the industry to evaluate a baseline level of protection for back-of-the-hand exposures.”
Of the 286,150 nonfatal occupational injuries to upper extremities in 2017 involving days away from work in private industry, 121,860 involved hands, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. According to OSHA, 70.9 percent of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented with personal protective equipment, specifically safety gloves. Impact-resistant gloves are commonly used in the automotive, heavy equipment and construction operation, cargo handling, oil/gas and towing/transportation industries.
“ISEA members recognize that the decision-making process can be challenging, given the numerous glove designs currently available,” said Chris Meadows, Technical Sales Manager of D3O and chair of ISEA’s impact-glove working group. “We believe the standard will enable safety professionals to make better-informed decisions about glove selection, ultimately reducing the number of injuries to a worker’s important asset—the hand.”
“The ISEA Hand Protection Group worked many hours to make this new standard a cutting-edge response to the need for products that would be most effective in protecting workers from back-of-the-hand impact injuries,” said Cristine Fargo, ISEA Director of Member and Technical Services.
Members of ISEA’s Hand Protection Group include: Ansell, Bob Dale Gloves, Conney Safety Products, DSM Dyneema, DuPont Personal Protection, D3O, Ergodyne, Global Glove, HexArmor, Honeywell Safety Products, Ironwear, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Lakeland Industries, Magid Glove and Safety, Majestic Glove, MCR Safety, National Safety Apparel, OccuNomix International, Protective Industrial Products, Pyramex Safety, Radians, Saf-T-Gard International, Superior Glove, Wells Lamont Industrial, and World Fibers.
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is the trade association in the U.S. for personal protective equipment and technologies.