Tag Archives: Cut Protection

Helping to Understand the New ANSI/ISEA 105 2016 Ratings

Article written by MCR Safety, one of Ritz Safety’s key partners in providing cutting-edge safety equipment.

ANSI/ISEA and EN388 cut levels are NOT interchangeable

To capitalize on today’s technology and innovation, you need to understand our industry’s test methods. Each test method has unique processes and testing equipment (see diagrams for more explanation). Therefore, it is difficult to make comparisons with each of these test methods and results (scores).


Understanding the ANSI/ISEA 105 standard specific to cut protection

The American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association have recently updated our industry’s ANSI/ISEA 105 Standard. Effective February 1st, 2016, this updated standard provides the criteria to better identify levels of cut protection, abrasion, puncture, chemical, heat, vibration, and dexterity. Much of our industry’s attention will be directed toward enhancements in cut protection levels. These changes are necessary to help the safety glove industry move toward establishing an international test method for cut protection. The new test method designation is F2992/F2992M-15.


Under the previous standard, cut levels were broken up into five levels; Cut Level 1 (rarely promoted across the industry), Cut Level 1, Cut Level 3, Cut Level 4 and Cut Level 5. Under the new ANSI/ISEA 105 standard, there will be nine (9) levels of cut protection. Additionally, all levels will reference “A” as a prefix to identify compliance with the new standard. These levels will be: Cut Level A1 (similar to the old standard’s Cut Level 1, it is anticipated that this too will be rarely promoted), Cut Level A2, Cut Level A3, Cut Level A4, Cut Level A5, Cut Level A6, Cut Level A7, Cut Level A8 and Cut Level A9.

Understanding the EN388 standard specific to cut protection

A revised European directive to harmonize standards for PPE items and mirror more closely the ANSI/ISEA methods is pending. The most significant change would involve cut resistance test methods to more closely match the revised ANSI/ISEA 105 standard. The European Standard EN388 includes four physical tests required for gloves. The industry identifies this testing information with CE and a four digit number. Each number represents an individual test for abrasion, cut, tear, and puncture. The cut test uses a circular blade under a fixed load, moves back and forth until cut through is achieved. This is conducted on Couptest equipment and is unique to CE testing methods. EN388 or CE test results do require third party certification. Consider the acronym ACT-P as a convenient reference to remembering the four physical tests.


MCR Safety has more than forty years of experience as a leader in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE). MCR Safety’s combined standard-setting products and industry-defining levels of service are backed by an unwavering commitment to excellence. For more information on the products MCR Safety offers, visit www.RitzSafety.com or call 800-451-3077.

Hand Protection: Cost Should No Longer Be The Deciding Factor

Written by Nick Collins, Marketing Director for Ritz Safety

Take a moment and consider this familiar scenario; You have been presented with two glove options for your workforce of about one hundred employees.  Glove option one features durable construction using a top grain leather with minimal dexterity and cut resistance, comes from a trusted glove manufacturer and costs only $8 per pair. Option B features a nitrile dipped Kevlar® shell for excellent cut resistance, superior dexterity and durability, good wet and dry grip and it can be laundered for extended use but is $12 per pair. Simple math says to go with option one, right? If you purchase just one pair per employee, your cost difference alone is $400 less. But what about the factors other than just cost?

As a Safety Manager, your focus is to find the best option for the task at hand while considering a variety of important factors. A 2013 study* from TriComB2B in partnership with the University of Dayton School of Business found that price dominated just 55% of all purchasing decisions. Instead, product features, benefits and even brand name are other attributes that are factored in on buying decisions. We no longer live and work in a cost-driven world. Instead, Safety Managers are looking for gloves that are dexterous, coated for an enhanced grip, and made with materials that are inherently cut resistant, in addition to other features, in an effort to increase worker safety. While cut resistance is an obvious component of elevated protection, the other two aspects should not be overlooked either. A glove that lacks dexterity may be removed to perform certain tasks, which removes the worker’s protection. An enhanced grip makes it less likely something will slip out of, or through the worker’s hands, which could cause a laceration. There are multiple variables to take into account for each job or task to ensure the overall protection meets workers’ needs. So let’s look at some of these additional factors that one may want to consider prior to making a purchasing decision.

Advancements in Glove Construction Technology

You may be asking “But aren’t these cut resistant gloves much more expensive than general purpose gloves?” Until very recently, that was the case. However, advancements in manufacturing processes and engineered yarn technology has allowed glove manufacturers to narrow this pricing gap dramatically. Engineered yarns optimize performance, function, and protection by blending select fibers to exceed industry standards. The ultimate objective has always been affordable cut resistant gloves for practically every application and now it can be provided for everyone, in every market.

Glove Coatings Provide Added Safety

Previously, construction workers were typically seen wearing those fabric/leather split palm gloves. However switching to coated seamless knits with engineered yarns enhances protection and allows workers to more securely hold power tools, handle sharp fasteners and sheet metal. Warehouse workers who often wear the economical general purpose gloves can now be more secure, even while handling those dangerous box cutters or razor sharp tape dispenser blades. With coated dipped gloves, workers can now keep their gloves on while performing all job tasks opposed to having to remove bulkier gloves to perform a task that requires more dexterity than they can get from their current glove. By removing their gloves, workers are put at greater risk of injury.

Dipped vs. Leather: Wear, Cut and Abrasion Resistance

Protective Industrial Products (PIP), a key supplier for Ritz Safety, recently tested a number of their dipped synthetic material gloves versus those made of natural materials. The information below demonstrate that the Cost of Ownership (CoO) for many synthetic gloves is lower than gloves made of natural materials. CoO is defined as the price of the glove divided by the number of rotations of the blade on a Taber Abrasion test machine required to wear through the glove material. The Taber Abrasion test is widely recognized as one of the most effective means of measuring a product’s durability. The test method used to gather this data was ASTM D 3389 – using 1,000 grams of weight on the abrasive wheel. Here is a summary of their observations about this data**:

  • Over time the CoO of leather is higher than using any other glove tested. Leather offers less protection and performance than synthetic options. The most expensive glove to wear based on the CoO is top grain leather…the test results illustrate 3 ½ times more costly than nitrile foam, seven times more than latex flat dipped and 11 times more than the CoO of coated Dyneema®.
  • The least expensive glove to wear based on the CoO is Dyneema®. The tested glove1 offers abrasion resistance that is 160 times that of a regular grade top grain leather glove.
  • The tested splash latex coated knit glove2 was found to be one third of the CoO of an economy split leather palm glove and offers almost twice the wear.
  • The tested crinkle finish latex coated knit3 offers 30% more protection from abrasion than a “B/C” grade split leather palm and costs only 25% more than the leather glove. This same glove also offers abrasion resistance that is three times that of a regular grade leather drivers and it is seven times more cost effective to own.
  • The tested economy crinkle finish latex coated knit4 provided almost twice the wear of the regular grade top grain leather glove and is eight times more cost effective to own.
  • The tested foam nitrile coated nylon knit5 will provide almost six times the wear of the “B/C” grade split leather palm and it is almost three time more cost effective to own. This same glove offers approximately three times more abrasion resistance than regular grade leather drivers while CoO of leather is over five times higher.

Just Turn It or Wash It

Another factor to consider is whether the gloves you are considering can be worn on either hand or machined wash. By having the capability to be worn on either the left or right hand, wearers have essentially doubled the life of the glove. Some machined knit gloves also feature the benefit of being able to be machined washed. This enables many of the contaminants the gloves have picked up during use, whether dirt and debris, chemicals, or other types of foreign particles, to be washed from the gloves and returned back to near-new characteristics. In either case, factoring in these life-extending capabilities should be factored into your overall glove costs. (Two items of note: 1) If you or your employees are washing the gloves, or you have an outside laundering company handling this, additional fees for laundering, should be considered and 2) Some gloves will lose certain benefits and characteristics with each wash. Please refer to the glove manufacturer for washing limits and instructions on care, and be sure to inspect your gloves after each wash cycle, ensuring they will provide the same level of protection as when first used). Launderability of a glove and whether it is ambidextrous or not can also become a factor for those companies who attempt to minimize waste. By adding life to the gloves via machine/hand washing or the simple switching the glove from left to right hand usage, companies can help minimize their waste footprint as well.

The Same But Different

The true costs of a glove are going to vary from company to company and even person to person. Some companies, even if they are in the same type of industry, will cycle through gloves at different rates for a variety of reasons. From different weather environments and worksite requirements to the pride employees take in their safety gear and unaccounted for usage, you should always conduct a site survey that is specific to your company’s requirements prior to deciding on a glove purchase. Having a good understanding of the requirements and demands your work and employees will be putting on their hand protection will help you determine which the best options will be. Most suppliers, including Ritz Safety, are happy to provide these site surveys either on their own or with the partnership of a trusted glove manufacturer. In many cases, bringing in a representative of the glove or gloves you are considering, will also help you better understand the best options, as they may see things that could require a different type of glove feature or style.

Making the Decision

So when the time comes to make a decision on the hand protection for your workforce, be sure that you are looking at the many other factors presented with the purchase and not simply cost alone. As companies continue attempting to keep costs low and get the most out of every purchase, sometimes higher up-front costs will actually lead to lower overall costs in the end. Taking time to properly assess all the factors related to your glove needs will help you determine the true costs of that $8 or $12 glove purchase.

References: *”The Considered Purchase Decision: What Matters, What Doesn’t, And What It Means for B2B Marketing and Sales”; TriComB2b in partnership with the University of Dayton School of Business Administration, 2013. http://www.tricomb2b.com/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/uploads/TriComB2B-UD_Research_Report-2013.pdf

**Glove models utilized during testing: 1) PIP 19-D622. 2) PIP 39-C122. 3) PIP 39-C1300. 4) PIP 39-1310. 5) PIP 34-800.

Ritz Safety, an international distributor for a broad range of personal protective equipment, opened it’s doors in 1983. With nine locations throughout the United States, Ritz Safety has a location near you, with 24/7 ordering capabilities also available at www.RitzSafety.com. Please contact us directly at (800) 451-3077 or Sales@RitzSafety.com with questions or to place an order.

 Additional article information was provided by Protective Industrial Products, one of Ritz Safety’s key partners in providing cutting-edge safety equipment. PIP has been an independently owned supplier of consumable personal protective equipment to industrial distribution for over 30 years.

The Real Cost of Cuts

This post was provided by Slice, one of Ritz Safety’s key partners in providing cutting-edge safety equipment.

They say you can’t put a price on safety, but if you’re in charge of safety budgets, you know that’s not true. When it’s time to equip or replace your company’s safety gear, the cost is spelled out in neat columns on your spreadsheet. Here you move numbers around, trying this trick or that to ensure that expenditure numbers match budget numbers and you’re in the black. After all, you don’t want to spend more than you have to. However, this approach only considers one part of the equation. If your calculations don’t account for the price of injuries, you’re not getting the whole picture.

Cuts: Leading Workplace Injury

To illustrate, consider one of the most common workplace injuries: cuts to the hand. A 2008 government study1 found that wrist and hand injuries were the number one cause of work-related emergency hospital admissions in Australia, for example. The majority of those injuries were lacerations–or cuts–ranging from minor wounds to amputations.

Costs of Treatment, Insurance and Fines

Hands are complex structures, full of delicate bones and an intricate network of ligaments and muscles. Their remarkable makeup is why hands are capable of so many intricate tasks and also to blame for why healing can take a while and treatment can be expensive. Every time a worker sustains a cut, the associated costs start adding up. Even a small cut in the wrong place can do irreparable, life-changing damage to somebody’s hand.

These costs start in the emergency department, where bandages, stitches and even surgery may be necessary. After emergency care comes rehabilitation costs and compensation for time off work.

Insurance may cover the expenses, but you’ll pay the price in higher premiums. If your business has an insurance policy that minimizes premiums, such as a Large Deductible Workers Compensation policy, you’ll still have to reimburse all expenses out of pocket up to a very large deductible, frequently $100,000 to $1,000,0002. That’s the kind of surprise cost no one likes.

If you skimp on safety precautions like cut protection, you may also be looking at an OSHA fine. Keep in mind that these fines will be going up3 considerably in 2016. Don’t forget the intangible, but very real, price to your company’s reputation: violations stay on record for consideration in future citations and can affect whether you’ll be able to attract in-demand workers.

Last But Not Least: Lost Productivity

Aside from more obvious direct costs to the employer, a worker out of production will inevitably cost you in terms of reduced overall productivity. Sure, you can hire a replacement, but there are going to be costs associated with training. Even if you onboard a quick study, you’re guaranteed to lose some capacity. Keep in mind that a decrease of efficiency at one position has a butterfly effect; each injury affects other workers’ morale and productivity. Even if you don’t hire a replacement, you’ll likely have to adjust shifts, requiring extra labor or overtime costs.

Before finalizing your safety budget, make sure you account for the real price of injuries. When you include hospital fees, recuperation costs, time-off compensation, insurance costs, government fines, lost productivity, training for replacements and lowered morale, the picture becomes a lot clearer. Upfront costs like cut protection pale in comparison to the real price of injuries. Prevention, such as safety cutters and protective gear, coupled with a strong pro-safety message, is the smart choice for safety’s sake and your company’s bottom line.

1 Work-Related Hand and Wrist Injuries in Australia. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/202/WorkRelatedHandandWristInjuriesinAustralia_2008_PDF.pdf

2 From http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=29700

3 From http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/13258-osha-fines-to-increase-significantly

Distributed in 30+ countries, Slice cutting tools are used by more than half the Fortune 1000 to reduce injuries and lower costs by replacing dangerous metal blades with patented Slice ceramic-blades. With tens of millions of units sold world-wide, Slice is making cutting better, safer and more exciting by integrating new technology and visionary functionality and design. Learn more about Slice and how it supports Autism research at www.sliceproducts.com.

Cut Injuries Costing You?

Have you ever considered the cost of unsafe cutting tools in the workplace? Knife-related employee injuries are all to common, yet often avoidable with proper use of safety cutters. The following information comes from our friends at Slice (original post here).

The Cost of Not Using Safety Knives


How much does it cost your company if one of your employees suffers a simple knife-related injury on the job?

a. $1,000
b. $10,000
c. $50,000 or more

Factor in medical attention, sick pay, lost work time, fines, delays, and insurance costs. The National Safety Council estimates the average total incurred cost per workers’ comp claim for hand, finger, and wrist injuries is more than $19,000. OSHA says direct and indirect costs for laceration injuries total $36,472.

And those are average costs, so knife-related injuries can easily top $50,000 and beyond.

Yet knives are a standard part of industrial workspace —utility knives, razor blades, box cutters, craft blades and more. Employees use them to cut cable, plastic, paper, tear through packages, open boxes, unpack deliveries, unload stock, trim, slice, and more.

If knives are everywhere in the workplace, so is the potential for injury. Cutting injuries send more than 1,000,000 workers to the hospital every year. According to a study on reducing knife injuries conducted by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, 51% of knife injuries were finger related, 33% were hand related, and 5% were arm related. That’s a massive 89% on the upper limbs!

Preventing Lacerations

You can dramatically reduce knife-related accidents and injuries in your workplace, improve the safety of your employees, and protect your company’s bottom line by implementing Safety Knife Programs and implementing Safety Knives and Safety Box Cutters to reduce lacerations.

We’ve put together a free paper on The Top 3 Things You Can Do NOW to Reduce Cutting Injuries. Download it now by clicking on the below link.

This post was provided by Slice, one of Ritz Safety’s key partners in providing cutting-edge safety equipment. Distributed in 30+ countries, Slice cutting tools are used by more than half the Fortune 1000 to reduce injuries and lower costs by replacing dangerous metal blades with patented Slice ceramic-blades. With tens of millions of units sold world-wide, Slice is making cutting better, safer and more exciting by integrating new technology and visionary functionality and design.

Cutting Through the Confusion of Cut Resistance

Workers and employers seeking cut resistant gloves in today’s marketplace have more options than ever before. From traditional leather and knit cut resistant fabrics, to more advanced, lightweight coated options, picking the right glove for the job is a daunting task! Cut resistance levels can add another layer of confusion to the mix, as different measurement standards are used or cited by different manufacturers. With all this complexity, how do you find the glove YOU need? Our friends at DuPont® (makers of Kevlar® brand cut resistant fabric) have put together a useful guide for understanding the ins and outs of cutting-edge cut resistance. The full guide is linked at the bottom of this article.

The first thing to consider in choosing a cut resistant glove is the Cut Level. But, three different standards exist, and they are not interchangeable.

  1. ASTM F1790 (US) and ISO 13997 (International)
    These methods both use a straight-edge blade under load to cut a sample. The sample is cut five times each at three different loads, to determine the required load to cut through the sample at a reference distance of 20mm.
  2. ASTM F1790-05
    This is an updated and more accurate testing method, which improved on the results found using the old ASTM F1790 test. As a result of this more stringent testing, material tested under the new standard will typically achieve a lower cut resistance rating than in previous tests with the old method.
  3. EN 388
    The EN 388 test method uses a circular blade under a fixed load. The blade moves back and forth across the sample until it is cut through. The cut resistance is measured as a ratio of the number of cycles needed to cut through the test sample vs. a reference material.

All test methods assign a Performance Level from 0 – 5 to each glove. These levels give a good general idea of the performance of a glove, but the actual performance values should be used when comparing two products. In addition, ASTM and EN 388 cut levels are NOT interchangeable. See the charts below for details on how the cut levels break down.

ANSI/ISEA Cut Levels (using results from ASTM F1790, ASTM F1790-05 or ISO 13997 tests)

ASTM Cut Level Table

EN 388 Cut Levels

EN 388 Cut Level Table

The Gloves category on our website now allows you to filter results by ANSI or EN cut levels. If you’re looking for more information, or need some help comparing different glove options, contact one of our experienced account representatives. For more information about cut resistance testing, check out this comprehensive guide from DuPont®.

Are you ordering the right glove size?

Choosing the correct glove sizes for yourself and your workers can often be a guessing game. How can you be sure you’re buying the correct sizes, and avoid ending up with extra inventory? Thankfully, Ritz Safety has a handy sizing chart which will take most of the guesswork out of glove sizing!

To use the chart, just click the image below to open the PDF file, and print it. Be sure when you print, you choose to print at “actual size.” Then, follow the instructions on the sheet to determine approximate glove size. Have an employee who’s hands fall between two sizes? It’s usually best to go with the larger option.


Glove Sizing Print Sheet

Remember – different glove styles fit differently. For instance, you might want a snug fit from a disposable latex glove, but prefer a bit more room in a leather palm glove. Gloves with insulated liners also tend to fit a little bit tighter, so many customers prefer to buy a larger size.

If you’re still not sure what size gloves you should order, give us a call at 1-800-451-3077!