Tricks of the Trade
Hand protection – Get a grip on the right work glove for the job
by Frank Hohman
Your hands are the most important tool in your toolbox, which is why it’s so important to protect them from jobsite hazards with appropriate hand protection. Just like you use the right tool for the job, you also need to pick the right pair of gloves for the task at hand. According to standard 1910.138(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA:
“Employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.”
So is there a way to identify the performance characteristics or cut resistance of a pair of gloves? Fortunately, yes. Thanks to the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, there is a standardized method for rating the cut resistance performance of gloves. ANSI assigns cut score levels based on glove resistance performance by testing gloves according to a singular standard. ANSI cut score levels indicate which gloves are appropriate for certain types of applications.
ANSI cut resistance chart
Referencing the ANSI cut resistance chart and checking the cut score level on a pair of gloves can help you select the best gloves for the job.
|ANSI cut level||Cutting force resistance||Typical applications|
|A1||200 – 499 grams||
|A2||500 – 999 grams||
|A3||1,000 – 1,499 grams||
|A4||1,500 – 2,199 grams||
|A5||2,200 – 2999 grams||
|A6||3,000 – 3,999 grams||
|A7||4,000 – 4,999 grams||
|A8||5,000 – 5,999 grams||
FAQs about ANSI cut score ratings
Find answers to common questions about ANSI cut resistance measuring and ratings to better understand ANSI cut score levels.
Question: What is the testing method ANSI uses to rate gloves?
Answer: The testing method currently used is the ANSI/ISEA 105 Standard established in 2016. The test uses only one type of machine – the TDM-100 – to ensure uniform testing.
Question: How does the ANSI cut score test work?
Answer: A sample of glove material is placed on the testing surface. Load weight is applied and the sample is cut five times by a straight-edge blade at three different load weights to ultimately determine the strength of the material known as the cut score.
Question: How do I know the cut score rating of a pair of
Answer: ANSI cut score ratings are indicated by the ANSI cut level shield icon, or by an “A” in front of the number rating. Manufacturers of gloves that are tested to ANSI standards will include the icon on gloves or within spec sheets.
Question: What is the highest level of cut resistant gloves?
Answer: ANSI cut levels are scored from A1 to A9, with A9 having the most resistance at 6,000 grams or higher. Gloves with an A9 cut score are approved for a wide range of applications that include heavy-duty assembly, automotive, construction, glass manufacturing, metal handling and metal stamping.
Question: What other steps can I take to protect my hands
Answer: In addition to using the appropriate glove for the job according to ANSI standards, you can also protect your hands by having well-fitting gloves. Discover four steps to finding the right work glove size.
For more tips to prevent injury and stay safe on the job, explore Safety Matters. Ferguson is committed to helping our customers always put safety first with our offering of safety and security products.