In previous blogs, we’ve talked about the benefits of natural and synthetic glove materials. Depending on the work that’s being done, one area that’s especially important is a glove’s level of cut resistance, because it can make the difference between whether a workplace injury is minor or severe.
The standard for cut resistance have been set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This helps ensure that a glove’s cut resistance rating is consistent from manufacturer to manufacturer, regardless of cost, style, materials and design.
This is good news for glove users because the new standards better equip safety managers to find the appropriate protection for the job.
To help you make the best choices when selecting gloves for cut resistance, we’ve answered 4 of the most common questions about cut resistance.
1. WHAT IS A CUT SCORE?
A cut resistance score is measured by how many grams of pressure can be applied by a razor blade moving in a straight path across a swatch of glove fabric before being cut. The “gram score” tells you how many grams of pressure the glove withstood before cutting through 0.8 in. (20 mm) or more. It is the average of multiple runs, using a new blade on each pass, and this “gram score” determines the Cut Score.
2. WHAT HAS CHANGED ABOUT CUT SCORES?
In the past, the ANSI rated gloves on a scale from 1 – 5. However, in February 2016, the ISEA released a new ANSI 105 hand protection standard in response to changes made that are being made to reflect innovation and advances in material technologies. The new standard includes updates to the classification levels for cut resistance (Cut Score) with a scale of 1 – 9. It also updates the method of testing gloves for cut resistance.
3. WHAT ARE THE NEW TESTING STANDARDS?
The old standard measured the weight in grams for a blade to cut material with either a Cut Protection Performance Tester (CPPT) or a Tomodynamometer Test Machine (TDM). The new standard standardizes testing by only using a TDM.
The new standard improves the accuracy in test results by designating a uniform test method using a single testing machine. All tests now require using the ASTM F2992-15 method on the TDM-100 machine. Previously TDM or CPPT machines were accepted.
4. WHAT IS THE NEW CUT SCORE CLASSIFICATION?
The new classification for cut resistance better equips you to find the appropriate protection for the job, because it more precisely defines levels of cut resistance. Now, the classification includes a 9-level scale, compared to the previous 5-level scale. The new classification provides more narrowly gradated levels, and also expands the upper limit on cut resistance. The following is a summary of the levels with the grams of pressure required to cut and a breakdown of ideal uses of the glove at each cut level.
Light Cut Hazards (ANSI A1)
200 - 499 Grams to Cut
Material handling, small parts assembly with sharp edges, packaging, warehouse, general purpose, forestry, construction
Light/Medium Cut Hazards (ANSI A2-A3)
500 - 1,499 Grams to Cut
Material handling, small parts assembly with sharp edges, packaging, warehouse, general purpose, forestry, construction, pulp and paper, automotive assembly
Medium/Heavy Cut Hazards (A4- A5)
1,500 – 2,999 Grams to Cut
Appliance manufacturing, bottle and light glass handling, canning, drywalling, electrical carpet installation, HVAC, pulp and paper, automotive assembly, metal fabrication, metal handling, packaging, warehouse, aerospace industry, food prep/processing
High Cut Hazards (A6-A9)
3,000 - 6000+ Grams to Cut
Metal stamping, metal recycling, pulp and paper (changing slitter blades), automotive assembly, metal fabrication, sharp metal stampings, glass manufacturing, window manufacturing, recycling plant/sorting, food prep/processing, meat processing, aerospace industry
5. HOW DO I GAUGE WHICH CUT RESISTANCE GLOVES I NEED?
Which gloves you purchase for your employees will depend on a number of factors. Understanding the potential cut risks, balancing the need for cut resistance with comfort and flexibility, cost and even style can all factor into your decision-making process. If you’re not sure which gloves are the best for your employees’ needs, talking to your safety equipment provider is a great way to start.
For example, when you work with an Arbill Safety Advisor, they can make recommendations to help you find the right glove. Whether it’s our own Truline brand or one of our many other suppliers, we can find you the right glove at the right cost.
Looking for more ideas on how to provide your employees with the right gloves? Talk to one of our safety advisors today. You can learn about our custom PPE options and schedule a site assessment.
Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day, the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.
Have a safe day!