A look back at the A+A 2015

More than 65,000 visitors and 1,887 exhibitors from 57 countries came together at the 30th A+A trade fair, the world’s leading platform for manufacturers in the field of industrial and occupational health and safety. The biennial trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, is therefore also the most important event for the uvex safety group. What did a visit to the trade fair hold in store? What innovations were presented there? And what impressions did visitors form at a trade fair like this? Read More

PPE: saving lives from the hazard of electrical arcs

Fortunately, accident statistics reveal that electrical arc accidents are not all that common. However, if they do occur, electrical arcs can severely endanger the lives of people close by. Petra Brückner (Head of Product Development) and Susen Lemnitzer (Technical Project Manager), our protective clothing experts at uvex safety textiles in Ellefeld, Germany, recognise the risks involved and, crucially, know how to minimise them as well.

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ESD-Antistatique

The difference between antistatic and ESD – a safety footwear example

There is often confusion between the terms ESD and antistatic, and not just when it comes to safety footwear. While one includes the other, to deduce the same is true in reverse is generally incorrect. Although both terms refer to contact resistance, there are fundamental differences between the two. Confused? Worry not. We are going to shed some light on the matter below.  Read More

The right lens tinting to see the wood for the trees

Light conditions in forestry are highly varied due to the changeable weather. For this reason, forest workers should not just wear traditional safety eyewear with transparent lenses, but instead make use of various tinted lenses.

In the report below, Professor Dr Bombosch presents the applications and benefits of tinted safety spectacles in forestry. The advantageous properties of specially tinted lenses are also useful for many other sectors and occupations in which similarly changeable light conditions change or poor lighting is common.

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A new electrostatic test standard for safety gloves

Some of the more visible effects of electrostatic build-up are familiar to us all: hair which stands on end when rubbed with a balloon or the occasional electric shock when closing car doors. However, there are some types of electrostatic build-up and discharge which could cause greater harm. For example, when electronic components are involved or where people are in industrial explosion hazard areas. A newly introduced test standard for safety gloves will now govern threshold values and test conditions.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is subject to a raft of regulations, rules and standards. For example, if a glove is designed to protect against mechanical risks, the criteria regulating the corresponding certification are contained in the industrial standard EN 388:2003. Where chemical hazards are concerned, standard EN 374:2003 applies. In the past, there has been no binding standard to govern issues such as electrostatic build-up and/or fire and explosion hazards. Technical regulation for operational safety TRBS 2153 may well prescribe that the contact resistance of a glove must be less than 100 megaohms (108 Ω) for zones 0, 1, 20 and 21 of explosion hazard areas, but it does not contain any description in relation to test methods and criteria. However, standard EN 16350:2014, which deals with electrostatic characteristics of protective gloves, will come into force on 1 July 2015 – better late than never!

 

What does the standard cover?

EN 16350:2014 prescribes the following test conditions and minimum requirements for the electrostatic properties of protective gloves:

  • The contact resistance of a glove must be less than 100 megaohms (Rv < 1.0 x 108 Ω)
  • DIN EN 1149-2:1997 regulates contact resistance
  • The atmosphere during testing for contact resistance must constitute an ambient temperature of 23°C (± 1°C) and have relative humidity of 25% (± 5%)
  • Five tests will be conducted and each measurement must be within the threshold values

 

What is the state of play regarding ESD requirements?

The fact is that there is currently no standard for electrostatic discharge (ESD) and therefore also no clear, valid ESD uvex ESD-Siegellabelling for protective gloves as is the case for protective clothing and safety footwear, for example. In this regard, the standard DIN EN 61340-5-1 applies, but it is not valid for protective gloves – even if the odd ESD symbol may be found on gloves in retail stores. However, gloves that have been tested and certified in accordance with the new electrostatic standard can now be used without qualms in areas which require ESD product protection.


What exactly are the differences between ESD standards DIN EN 16350, DIN EN 1149-1 and DIN EN 61340-5-1?

  Protective gloves Protective clothing ESD protective equipment
Standard: EN 16350 EN 1149-1 DIN EN 61340-5-1
Name: Safety gloves – electrostatic properties Safety clothing – electrostatic properties part 1: Test method for measurement of surface resistivity Electrostatics 5-1: Protection of electronic devices from electrostatic phenomena
Validity: Industrial health and safety Industrial health and safety Product protection
Feature measured: Contact resistance Surface resistance Depends on what is being tested (e.g. contact resistance for shoes, surface resistance for clothing)
Threshold value: R < 1.0 x 108 Ω R < 5.0 x 1010 Ω Various requirements:e.g. footwear:7.5 x 105 Ω < R < 3.5 x 107 Ω

e.g. clothing:

R < 1.0 x 109 Ω

Test atmosphere: Ambient temperature: 23°C (± 1°C); relative air humidity: 25% (± 5%) Ambient temperature: 23°C (± 1°C); relative air humidity: 25% (± 5%) Differs according to test (footwear, clothing, ground, work surface, etc.)
Measurements: 5 tests; each must be within the threshold value 5 tests; geometric mean must be within the threshold value Differs according to test (footwear, clothing, ground, work surface, etc.)
Symbol/pictogram none Symbol with pictogramuvex en 1149 Symbol with ESD pictogramuvex ESD-SiegelWarning: does not apply to safety gloves!

 

 For which areas of application are certified safety gloves appropriate?

Gloves which have been tested in accordance with EN 16350:2014 can, among other areas of application, be used in explosion hazard zones such as refineries. Due to a high degree of conductivity, electrostatic build-up on wearers can be effectively avoided as long as the grounding chain, which consists of gloves, PPE, footwear and the ground, is uninterrupted.

Inadvertent electrostatic discharge can also have negative effects in the manufacturing and assembly of delicate products such as electronic components, which may suffer permanent damage or even be destroyed by such an event. Safety gloves tested in accordance with DIN EN 16350:2014 are also suitable for use in this area of application.

 

Does uvex also have certified safety gloves?

uvex rubiflex ESD safety glove
uvex rubiflex ESD

uvex responded to the new protection standard for electrostatic properties by developing its own uvex unipur carbon. These safety gloves are ideal for lightweight working environments and remain within all threshold values and fulfil the conditions prescribed by the standard, as well as offering exceptional haptic qualities and ensuring climate comfort. In the next few weeks, the uvex rubiflex ESD safety gloves combining electrostatic discharge capabilities and chemical protection will be added to the uvex product portfolio. This product is currently in the process of gaining certification. The uvex rubiflex ESD is perfectly suited for use in paint workshops, the colour and printing industries as well as in the oil and chemicals industries.

 

uvex unipur carbon

Tough, tougher, textreme cut – cut protection made by uvex

Cuts on hands and lower arms represent the number one injury listed on accident statistics for the glass and metal processing industry. However, sophisticated materials as incorporated in the textreme cut-protection shirts offer a novel protection mechanism that successfully proofed itself to eliminate the primary injury risk as shown in the following case study.

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Noise is annoying – and a real risk to your health!

A survey carried out in 2012 shows that about half of Germany’s population is disturbed by traffic noise. Add other sources of noise into the mix such as industrial operations, aircraft, or the lawnmower down the street, and it’s soon clear that noise is a problem everywhere – one that affects society as a whole. This led America’s Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) to declare 29 April International Noise Awareness Day, which is also observed in Germany under the auspices of the German Acoustical Society (DEGA). What better opportunity for us to take a little closer look at the subject of “noise”? Read More

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