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

Homestory #6: Alaska

Their lives are filled with adventure, DIY, crafts and building, but also saving the day. They rise to the challenge and are always totally committed. Aside from the inherent risks they face professionally, these everyday heroes open themselves up to other dangers away from their jobs, which should not be underestimated. That they remain relaxed and focused as they achieve excellent results is down to their exceptional equipment. They place their trust in uvex safety products. Our real life stories allow others to share personal experiences with their favourite uvex products.

To the untrained eye, it may seem that fly fishing just involves standing in water trying to catch fish, which may then later be served for dinner. However, for anglers it is not just the fishing itself which is their main focus. Anglers often have a strong affinity with nature and treat it with great respect, apart from also bringing them enjoyment as they discover the many new fascinating things it has to offer.
Our colleague Jürg F. from Switzerland is among them and this year embarked on a fly fishing expedition to Alaska with some of his angler friends. He talked to uvex about his experience and the role that uvex products played on his trip.


uvex: Could you please briefly describe the hobby/leisure activity in which you use uvex personal protective equipment?

JF: I am passionate about fly fishing and also help and support our club’s fish farming programme, which breeds and rears fish stocks for the region. This work has enabled me to try out a range of different products. The eagerly awaited trip to Alaska for salmon fishing was the perfect opportunity to test uvex all-weather clothing, gloves, hearing protection and above all the new uvex Polavision safety eyewear.


uvex: Which dangers and challenges do you encounter?

JF: In the fish farm I am faced with virtually all common dangers, including noise pollution from lawn mowers and brush cutters, cleaning products for the pools that can irritate the skin and handling heavy grates that can fall on the feet, to name but a few. The greatest danger when fly fishing is being hit in the face or even eye by a hook.


uvex: Which uvex products do you wear for protection?

JF: Various different hearing safety products protect me and my fellow club members from noise pollution, but the exceptional wearer comfort of my customised uvex high-fit flex earplugs particularly stands out for me
The uvex rubiflex S XG safety gloves are brilliant for pool cleaning, as they are comfortable, robust and provide excellent grip even when wet. For my feet, I find that the MACTREK GTX safety boots from Heckel are best. The GORE-TEX® membrane keeps my feet nice and dry, while the HPC toecap is great, especially in winter as they keep the cold out. I really feel the benefit of these features when I am dealing with water at sub-zero temperatures.
I am also pleased I get to wear our “own” uvex Polavision 9231 when fly fishing.
These protect my eyes excellently and the special coating prevents glare off the surface of the water so I find it easier to spot the fish.

However, even uvex does not protect against the dangerous “Alaska bug” which anglers quite often catch. 😉


uvex: Has using uvex products changed the way you practice your hobby/leisure activity?

JF: I have always worn protective equipment for my hobby, but other products just aren’t the same. This also allowed me to personally experience the comfort and stability of our products for myself. My feet were neither too hot nor too cold and I don’t need to worry about injuring my eyes.
I can fully concentrate on my hobby, safe in the knowledge that I am protected by uvex products.


We thank Jürg F. for talking to us and are pleased that uvex’s products were up to the task in Alaska.


Please visit the gallery to not only see pictures of uvex products, but also stunning photographs of the wildlife and landscape in Alaska.


uvex is delighted that its industrial health and safety products are used in the private domain as well as professional working life. However, we are of course not able to ensure that the right products are used privately for the respective activity. uvex therefore does not accept any liability for the correct and appropriate application of products and their condition, nor can it be held liable for non-uvex products.


The Prince of Tides: oil and gas production in South Africa

uvexTREME – the toughest jobs in the world

We all know that every job has its tough side, but there are jobs that are much tougher than we could ever imagine, where people take on the greatest risks and overcome all dangers with passion and courage. As passion and courage alone are not protection enough, uvex safety provides that added extra for everyday work. “Everyday” is not really the right word for this kind of job.


Oil and gas production in South Africa

We turn up the heating, sit down on the sofa, relax, warm up and get comfortable. Considerably less comfortable, however, are those who ensure we always have enough oil and gas.

Offshore drilling rig workers in South Africa must give their all every single day. Coming into contact with hydrogen sulphide, silicon dioxide, oil mist and mercury as well as various other chemicals over the course of their work poses a constant threat to their health. Not to mention the constant risk of explosions and flash fires from the different gases they work with. Bad weather and wind also mean there is always a risk of slipping and falling through to one of the lower levels.

High temperatures and extreme humidity on the drilling rigs are exacerbated by the permanent wetness. Over the course of a long shift, workers are exposed in the daytime to piercing sunlight, which is reflected even more in the large area of water, and at night they must deal with blindingly bright artificial light.

The extremely high level of noise pollution is almost the least of all the evils. Workers often have to climb into confined spaces for maintenance and repair work, where they can only move around on their hands and knees – and even sometimes just on their stomach.

uvex helps make the drilling rigs as safe as possible for those who work there by providing protective eyewear, face masks and gloves. The very least it can do to help those risking their lives out at sea so that we can be warm on the sofa.


How extreme is your job?

Is your job the toughest in the world? Why not show us!


Be part of “uvexTreme – the toughest jobs in the world. Tell us your story on facebook/uvexsafetygroup or send us an e-mail to safety@uvex.de.

uvex CR for medicine and the pharmaceutical industry

action_uvex_CR_367_HDRThere is autoclavable safety eyewear. And then there is uvex CR.

Professional occupational safety for laboratories, clinics, cleanrooms and food manufacturing. We have developed the first autoclavable safety goggles with anti-fog coating for specialist requirements.
From ultra-light safety spectacles to goggles with a panorama lens, the uvex CR range offers the perfect safety eyewear for any area of application, specifically designed for repeated autoclave sterilisation. Steam sterilisation by heating in an autoclave is a widespread practice in the pharmaceutical industry, in laboratories, medical practices and hospitals.
The aim of this process is to achieve the maximum level of sterilisation (i.e. elimination of all viable microorganisms such as bacteria, spores and viruses). Steam sterilisation is considered to be the most effective sterilisation process (compared to gamma rays and chemical sterilisation). Alongside an exemplary level of protection, our uvex CR eyewear offers maximum functionality, outstanding wearer comfort and innovative design. This is first-class protective eyewear “Made in Germany”.


action_uvex_CR_142_HDRThe revolution in cleanrooms – uvex CR with anti-fog coating.

From complicated procedures in operations to working in pharmaceutical manufacturing, employees must be able to completely rely on their protective equipment at all times.
uvex CR eyewear is specially designed to meet the highest demands of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. The special anti-fog coating guarantees perfect anti-fogging, during physically demanding work as well as in extremely warm and damp conditions. They can also be perfectly combined with respirators. uvex CR eyewear can be autoclaved up to ten times (20 minutes each cycle, at 121°C), after which replacement of eyewear is recommended, or lens replacement in the case of uvex ultrasonic CR wide-vision goggles.

In some areas, it is not only the person, but also the product which needs to be protected. For example, in cleanroom production, a single dust particle can damage delicate components. Autoclavable uvex CR safety eyewear is perfectly suited for sterile working environments, e.g. food production. At the same time, the eyewear not only fulfils all safety norms in accordance with EN 166, but even exceeds the requirements. From the innovative anti-fog coating to the duo component technology for maximum wearer comfort, the pioneering functionality of the uvex CR means it is the optimum protective equipment for use in research and development. In addition to sophisticated functionality and optimal comfort, our products set themselves apart through modern, sporty designs.


action_uvex_CR_049_HDRAlways have everything in view – with non-fogging uvex CR safety eyewear.

At only 98g, the uvex ultrasonic CR are very light autoclavable wide-vision goggles. The anti-fog lenses with a wide panoramic field of vision guarantee optimum vision at all times. They offer exceptional wearer comfort through duo component technology and an adjustable silicone headband. Indirect ventilation ensures a pleasant non-irritating interior environment. They can also be worn over most spectacles. In contrast to the ultrasonic CR, competitors on the market are all uncoated. These globally unique autoclavable goggles with anti-fog coating are a step ahead. The coating is an unsurpassable benefit for the wearer, particularly when combined with respirators.

uvex super fit CR are autoclavable and extremely lightweight spectacles. The ultra-thin, scratch-proof lenses offer optimum protection against mechanical hazards. The innovative anti-fog coating guarantees a perfect panoramic field of vision, even in high air humidity and when exposed to extreme temperature variation.

uvex super f OTG CR is autoclavable eyewear with innovative lens technology. The panorama field of vision ensures absolute anti-fogging and maximum vision. Also specifically suitable for use over prescription spectacles. The extremely flexible soft ear pieces adapt perfectly to the head shape and ensure a secure and pressure-free fit, even when worn for extended periods.

All uvex CR models meet the specifications of optical grade 1 and all safety norms in accordance with EN 166. The eyewear is manufactured from non-allergenic materials which are free of harmful substances, and is of course “Made in Germany”.

uvex CR for medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Sterile eye protection in every situation.

We take responsibility: protecting people and the environment


As a family-run company, we take a long-term view and the issue of sustainability is always, has always been and will always be a high priority for us. Products which touch the skin, such as fabrics, must fulfil extremely stringent criteria which not only exceed EU directives, but set new standards in environmental friendliness. The fundamental principle behind sustainability is to add value throughout the supply chain. Consequently, commitment to sustainability is playing an ever greater role in product development, in particular. Collection 26 was developed on the basis of these requirements. The main components of the models comprise materials made of recycled polyester and organic cotton, supplemented by parts made from recycled polyester.

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