Evolution de la norme EN 374

EN 374: Modified standard for chemical protective gloves

Chemical protective gloves must meet the requirements of European standard EN 374. This standard has now been modified substantially. These changes become effective once they are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you of the upcoming reforms, explain the changes and then describe the impacts they will have for users.

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New PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425 is no cause for alarm!

Experience dictates that many questions tend to arise when new or revised PPE regulations are published: what changes are there? How will I or my business be affected? What deadlines are there and what will it all cost in the end? When it comes to hearing protection and the new regulation (EU) 2016/425, we can give the all-clear: first and foremost, it is manufacturers who must rise to this challenge.

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Schnittschutztestgerät nach ISO

Change to the standard regulating cut protection safety gloves: EN 388:2003 compared to EN 388:2016 and ISO 13997

In Europe, the standard EN 388:2003 is used to regulate protection classes of cut restistant safety gloves. To achieve a high level of cut protection, several technical materials – known as high performance fibres – are used. This process of constantly further developing materials requires testing procedures and classifications of these products to be adapted – this was realised in new revised standard EN 388:2016.

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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

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

Eyesight must be protected.

The eyes are the most important and at the same time the most sensitive sensory organ. Approximately 85% to 90% of all perception involves the eyes. The protection provided by body’s natural features, such as eyelashes, tears, eyelids and blink reflex, rarely suffices in the industrial working world.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required if risks in the workplace cannot be entirely eliminated through technical and operational procedures. European legislation stipulates that it is the employers’ obligation to analyse the dangers in the working environment and, where required, ensure protective eyewear is made available to employees free of charge.
The standards for PPE have been defined in European Directive 89/686/EEC, while the guidelines for eye protection fall under EN 166. This is intended to help company owners fulfil their commitment to accident prevention regulations and government occupational health and safety directives as well as showing ways in which work-related accidents, illnesses and health hazards can be prevented.

All products tested in accordance with these directives are exposed to different dangers which can potentially damage the eyes and impair vision in industry, laboratories, schools and universities, among others. For example, all customised protective eyewear that features coated lenses labelled in accordance with K or N must meet the requirements of the standard EN 166 ff. (see image)




What do the K and N labels mean?

K labelling

Products must feature a high level of scratch-resistance in workplace environments with high dirt and dust exposure. Surface resistance to damage from small particles is tested by means of the sand trickling method and is carried out as follows:

  • Lens is secured on a rotating plate
  • 3 kg of natural quartz sand is trickled down onto the main focal area of the lens from a height of approximately 1.65 m at room temperature (23 °C)
  • Afterwards, the light refraction of the samples is measured. < 5 = K

If safety eyewear is labelled K, the lenses have been certified in accordance with the standard EN 168 as resistant to damage from small particles and as having a light density coefficient that does not exceed 5.


The following industries typically demand this level of protection:

  • Steel industry
  • Mining
  • Construction materials industry
  • Construction industry



N labelling

Working environments with high humidity and persistent condensation place the extreme demands on products. Resistance of lenses to fogging is tested by means of the water bath method and is carried out as follows:



  • Lenses stored in distilled water for one to two hours -> patted dry
  • Conditioned at room temperature (23°C) with 50% humidity for 12 hours



  • Water bath is heated to 50°C (surrounding environment: room temperature)
  •  Lens is attached over the opening of the water bath
  • The transmission factor change (>20%) on introduction of light source is measured
    –> Time taken for lenses to fog up is measured. > 8 seconds = N

If safety eyewear is labelled K, the lenses have been certified in accordance with the standard EN 168 as resistant to fogging and as remaining fog-free for at least 8 seconds, even after immersion in water.


The following industries typically demand this level of protection:

  • Paper industry
  • Food industry
  • Textile processing
  • Refrigerated warehouses



uvex’s coating systems that are developed and produced in-house far exceed the the requirements of the standard EN 168.
The right coating provides a specific protective function to ensure the eyewear is anti-fog, scratchproof and resistant to chemicals. Please visit the uvex website to discover more about uvex coatings for safety eyewear: http://goo.gl/dRe5JC


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Please email expertenblog@uvex.de and we will be happy to help.

Sensitising substances in safety gloves

Prior art and new prevention strategies


At work, hands are exposed to particular risks. In addition to mechanical dangers, skin diseases and allergies in the workplace lead to absences and higher costs.

The European PPE Directive and EN 420 specifically note that “material in gloves, decomposition products and substances contained therein…may not have a negative effect on the health and hygiene of the wearer”. In the dermatological profession, too, the substances in gloves are ever more the focus of attention as a potential cause of allergies and sensitivities. The toxicological and dermatological harmlessness of safety gloves are therefore very significant and make a considerable contribution to reducing absences and health costs in companies.

The uvex phynomic series is a new way in which protective glove manufacturers can develop toxicologically and dermatologically harmless safety gloves. This is by means of seamless knitted safety gloves which have a cut protection level of 1 in accordance with EN 388 (mechanical risks) and can be used in particular for precision work, general assembly work and general activities (e.g. maintenance).


The “uvex pure standard”

The first clue to toxicological harmlessness in safety gloves is in testing for harmful substances in accordance with the international OEKO-TEX® standard.

However, not all substances used in the manufacturing process and in the wearing of safety gloves are part of the OEKO-TEX® testing catalogue. In particular, organic solvents (dimethylformamide, secondary amines etc.) and the group of vulcanisation accelerators and their corresponding secondary products (carbon disulphide, nitrosamine etc.) are not covered by the current testing catalogue.

New development concepts arise here and offer product solutions which dispense with the use of organic solvents and vulcanisation accelerators (accelerators) in the manufacturing process entirely.

The result is innovative hand protection products which are not harmful to health and have hypoallergenic characteristics. The uvex safety group uses the term ‘uvex pure standard’ to describe this high level of product purity.


The independent seal: “dermatologically approved”

New paths are being trodden in terms of a universal health strategy for hand protection by the uvex safety group in cooperation with the proDERM® Institute for Applied Dermatological Research GmbH.

proDERM® Prüfsiegel „Dermatologisch bestätigt“
proDERM® seal “dermatolocically approved”

As well as the toxicological harmfulness, dermatological tolerance must also be independently confirmed. The seal of quality “dermatologically approved” is awarded by the renowned proDERM® Institute for Applied Dermatological Research GmbH. The institute was founded in 1994 by the dermatologist and allergy specialist Dr Klaus-P. Wilhelm and is a pioneer in independent dermatological contract research.

The product which is to be certified must meet current dermatological and toxicological requirements. Another condition for the seal to be awarded is proof of skin tolerance in two separate studies. Generally, this involves a study with a maximised exposure (repeated patch test) of at least 30 test participants and an in-use study in which the product is used in a similar manner to how it would be used in reality, as well as medical testing, likewise of 30 test participants.


Step 1: dermatological/toxicological tests
The first thing to be tested is whether the composition of the product has been optimised in terms of skin tolerance. An independent toxicologist has to confirm whether or not the dermatological and toxicological requirements have been met.


Patch Test/Pflastertest an 30 Probanden
patch/plaster test with 30 test participants

Step 2: skin tolerance tests
This involves a repeated plaster test on at least 30 test participants. Due to the maximum exposure, a first evaluation of the skin tolerance is carried out. Test participants (of whom around 25% have sensitive skin or are type IV allergy sufferers) have pieces of the gloves applied to them – parts of the cuffs and the coating. The samples are applied occlusively for 24 hours. Tests are then carried out after 15 minutes, 24 hours and 48 hours under medical supervision. This means that tests are conducted for both immediate and/or delayed reactions (type I and type IV allergies). Water and soap are used as controls for the test. The whole test is repeated three times with the same test participants.


Step 3: Usage-based study
This relates to a dermatological usage test with a dermatological and allergenic evaluation which looks at the use of the product in operation over an extended period. To this end, 30 test participants are given the safety gloves over a period of two weeks. These must be worn daily for the duration of the working day. An ongoing assessment of allergic reactions is then carried out under medical supervision.


proDERM® Certificate for uvex phynomic safety gloves

The result of the test has to show a good or very good skin tolerance. Products which only have an average skin tolerance do not receive the seal. This test is therefore able to confirm a very high level of skin tolerance in the uvex phynomic protective glove series.








uvex phynomic FOAM in action at DEMAG Cranes

Practical example: DEMAG Cranes
Dermatological harmlessness is, of course, only the first step. The product must also be accepted by users (particularly those with sensitive skin). DEMAG Cranes, the specialist in all types of cranes, employs a large number of people in the chain hoist department at the Wetter location in Germany. Wearing gloves is, of course, compulsory. In the gearbox assembly department, Safety Engineer Mr Flögel has been looking for a special solution for years. The 43-year-old Assembly Mechanic Detlev V. has had permanent problems with his hands for almost seven years. “Dry, chapped hands are a constant problem when wearing safety gloves. I have been having medical treatment since 2005.” Mr V. has exhausted all of the possibilities available to him and tested a variety of products but was unable to find a solution. In August 2011, he took part in a wearing test for a new product: the uvex phynomic FOAM safety gloves. “Ever since I’ve been wearing the gloves, I have not had any further problems with my skin,” he says.

This was not a one-off. Across the department, employees praised the excellent wearer comfort, the outstanding fit which enabled optimal assembly, and the exceptional skin tolerance of the product. This example shows that “pure” products can be used to solve acute problems or to identify latent difficulties. A large number of employees had come to terms with “minor” skin problems and were pleased when the introduction of pure products was able to restore things to normal.