Australian / New Zealand and European Occupational
Protective Glove Standards


AS /NZS 2161.3:2005 This Standard was prepared by the Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee SF- 023, Occupational Protective Gloves to supersede AS/NZS 2163.3:1998. It is identical with and has been reproduced from EN 388:2003, Protective gloves against mechanical risk.

This Standard is applied to protective gloves with regards to physical and mechanical aggressions caused by abrasion, blade cut, tear and puncture. 

The small "Axe Icon" shown inside the pointed shield, used in conjunction with the text EN388,  indicates the certification of mechanical testing performance for hand protection gloves under the European Standards. The 4 numerals listed with the Axe Icon image are individually relevant to the gloves performance under the testing parameters starting with the Abrasion performance (each reported numeral is in the progressive order as stated below).   

The four tests that define this standard are:

Abrasion resistance: To what level does the material of the glove resist exposure to repeated abrasion?
Blade cut resistance: How well can the palm material of the glove resist cutting objects?
Tear resistance: What force is needed to rip glove, by tearing a precut hole in the material of the glove.
Puncture resistance: What force is needed to puncture the palm of the glove with a calibrated spike?

Gloves are tested for each of these properties and results reported as performance ratings. The higher the rating, the better the glove has performed under the testing methodology. Maximum performance achievable is level 4, except for Cut which reaches a Maximum tested level of 5. 

The table shows Abrasion results are displayed as the number of times the abrasive material has moved across the glove surface being tested. Tear and puncture resistance are reported by the amount of force required (measured in Newtons) to impact on the material. Cut resistance is shown as an index, it is important to note that the index factor varies substantially between levels. From the table below, to achieve the minimum required result to gain a Cut level 5 rating (index of 20), the glove needs to perform at an index value of 3 times greater than a Cut 3 (index of 5) glove.


Mechanical hazards test