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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) help classify specific product attributes and communicate the quality and protection levels of personal protection equipment. The standards are designed to assist managers in the provision and maintenance of workplace safety levels.
The elimination of health and safety workplace hazards is mandated by government legislation. Where they cannot be eliminated, employers are responsible for reducing hazards to a minimum as is reasonably practical. As a result, they have implemented a number of identical standards to those used in Europe.
For example, standard EN420 (AS/NZS 2161.2:1998) - Occupational Protective Gloves, General Requirements - defines requirements for all protective gloves (except electrical and medical gloves) for glove construction, cleaning, comfort and efficiency, marking and information. While the majority of the Australian/New Zealand occupational glove standards are identical to the European standards, there are instances where the European standard has been revised, but the Australian/New Zealand standard has not been changed. This is why, for example, the protection against cold standard AS/NZS 2161.5:1998 is not the same as the European cold standard EN511:2006. The requirements are similar but the two standards use different testing methodologies.
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Above is a guide to pictograms used for the EN Standards.
Relevant Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2161.2:1998
This standard defines the general requirements for glove design and construction, innocuousness, comfort and efficiency, marking and information applicable to all protective gloves. This standard can also apply to arm guards.
A glove is an item of personal protective equipment which protects the hand or any part of the hand from hazards. It may also cover part of the forearm and arm.
Glove construction and design:
Relevant Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2161.10:2005
This standard specifies the capability of gloves to protect the user against chemicals and/or micro-organisms. The ‘chemical resistant’ glove pictogram must be accompanied by a minimum three digit code. This code refers to the code letters of the chemicals (from a list of 12 standard defined chemicals), for which a breakthrough time of at least 30 minutes has been obtained.
Read more about EN 374
Relevant Australian standard: AS/NZS 2161.3:1998
This standard applies to all kinds of protective gloves in respect of physical and mechanical aggressions caused by abrasion, blade cut, puncture and tearing. Protection against mechanical hazards is expressed by a pictogram followed by four numbers (performance levels), each representing test performance against a specific hazard. The ‘mechanical risks’ pictogram is accompanied by a four digit code:
A. Abrasion ResistanceBased on the number of cycles required to abrade through the sample glove.
B. Blade Cut ResistanceBased on the number of cycles required to cut through the sample at a constant speed.
C. Tear ResistanceBased on the amount of force required to tear the sample.
D. Puncture ResistanceBased on the amount of force required to pierce the sample with a standard-sized point.
Read more about EN 388
Relevant Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2161.4:1999
This standard specifies thermal performance for protective gloves against heat and/or fire. The nature and degree of protection is shown by a pictogram followed by a series of six performance levels, relating to specific protective qualities.
Read more about EN 407
Relevant Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2161.5:1998
This standard applies to any gloves to protect the hands against convective and contact cold down to -50 °C. Protection against cold is expressed by a pictogram followed by a series of three performance levels, relating to specific protective qualities.
Read more about EN 511
Relevant Australian Standard: AS/NZS 2161.8:2002
To protect from radioactive contamination, the glove has to be liquid proof and needs to pass the penetration test defined in EN374
Read more about EN 421
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