Understanding Safety Glove Cut Resistance Ratings

Hand Injuries

According to Safe Work Australia workplace hand injuries are amongst the most common occupational injuries that lead to worker compensation claims.

Besides repetitive strain injuries the most common hand injuries documented in safety statistics include:

  • Having hand caught, crushed, jammed or pinched in between other objects such as machinery
  • Contact with power tools
  • Contact with knifes
  • Puncturing of hand
  • Woodworking machinery
  • Having hand caught or crushed in a door
  • Contact with lawnmowers.

In the latest Safe Work Australia compensation claims report between 2018-19 non-powered hand tools, appliances and equipment (e.g. edged tools) were the number one cause of injury compensation claims with 26, 745 (23%), whilst powered equipment and tools (e.g. electric tools – including battery-operated tools) were the cause of 4% of injury claims with 4,685.

Since the year 2000 statistics reporting has seen a reduction in the number of injuries to hands, fingers and thumbs being reported.

Reported injuries peaked in 2000-01 at 17, 625 and by 2018-19 this had reduced to 15,120 reported injuries.

The reduction in reported hand, finger and thumb injuries can be attributed to a higher number of workers wearing the correctly specified cut and impact resistant safety gloves.

In this post we provide a brief explanation of how to understand safety glove cut ratings.

AS/NZS 2161 Safety Glove Standard

The Australia New Zealand safety glove standard 2161 is based off the European standard EN388, it is the safety standard of how protective safety gloves are against mechanical risks such as cuts.

The latest version of the standard has been developed to improve transparency around cut scores and performance so workers and safety managers can make informed decisions and select the correctly specified safety gloves for an application.

Safety Glove Cut and Impact Resistance Testing Methods

Abrasion Resistance

Resistance to abrasion is measured by how many times a safety glove can withstand abrasive pressure from sandpaper.

  • Low abrasive resistance may only survive 100 revolutions (level A)
  • High abrasive resistance can withstand over 8,000 revolutions (level D)

Tear Resistance

Tear resistance of safety gloves is tested by having the material of the glove firstly slit, the force needed to tear the material serves as a benchmark.

  • Tear resistance level is indicated between A and D, where D indicates the strongest material

Puncture Resistance

Puncture resistance is tested by how much force the glove can withstand before the glove is pierced by a standard single point. 

  • Protection is indicated by a letter between A and D, where D indicates the strongest material

Cut Resistance

A TDM straight blade travels once across the material of the gloves and is only used once.

  • Protection is indicated by a letter between A and F, where F indicates the strongest material

Impact Protection

If a safety glove has been tested for impact protection this information is given by the letter P as the 6th and last sign.

If there is no “P” sign indicated, then there is no impact protection claimed.

  • When a glove is being tested for impact protection it will achieve one of three ratings: Pass (P), Fail (F) or Not tested (X)

Cut Resistant Safety Gloves for Sale

Adaptalift Group sell a wide range of cut protection safety gloves offering varying levels of protection to hands.

Low Level Cut Protection

Suitable for applications when the risk of cuts or puncture is relatively low and the risk of injury is minor the G-Force Ultra C3 cut resistant gloves are ideal for:

  • Some catering and food industry jobs
  • Some types of electrical work
  • Some types of metal work

These lightweight gloves have a ‘B’ rating for cut resistance with reinforced thumb and index finger.

They offer a lightweight and flexible fit without impacting on finger dexterity.

Medium Level Cut Protection

With a cut resistance rating of ‘C’ Maxisafe’s Hi-Vis safety gloves are ideal for applications that require medium levels of protection such as:

  • Recycling plants
  • Scrap yards
  • Electrical work
  • Home maintenance work

They provide a moderate level of cut protection alongside great dexterity.

Manufactured from Cool Star Yarn the gloves offer superior breathability and sweat absorption, whilst also being contact heat resistant up to 100 degrees (EN407).

They’re also touch screen compatible allowing wearers to still use most screens including tablets and mobile phones whilst wearing.

High Level Cut Protection

For applications where full cut protection is required such as:

  • Heavy construction
  • Rigging
  • Rescue
  • Mining
  • Ironworking
  • Any type of work that puts you at high risk for cuts and lacerations.

With a cut resistance rating of ‘E’ the leather reinforced Rhinoguard Needle and Cut Resistant Gloves from Maxisafe offer full hand protection.

Gloves have been designed to be lightweight and flexible to maximise dexterity and comfort without compromising on safety.

Rhinoguard is a highly abrasion resistant material that greatly increases the gloves durability in applications requiring robust performance.

When looking for your next pair of high quality cut resistant gloves browse our complete range of safety gloves and personal protective equipment online.

For assistance in finding the right pair of gloves with cut resistance to match your application and safety requirements contact our team on 13 22 54 or submit an online enquiry.

Reference List

  1. 2021. Australian Workers Compensation Statistics 2018-19. [ebook] Canberra: Safe Work Australia. Available at: <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/australian-workers-compensation-statistics-2018-19> [Accessed 4 November 2021].
  2. icare. n.d. What are the most common work injuries in NSW?. [online] Available at: <https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/injured-or-ill-people/workplace-injuries/what-are-the-most-common-work-injuries-in-nsw#gref> [Accessed 4 November 2021].
  3. Safe Work Australia. n.d. Disease and injury statistics by type. [online] Available at: <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/statistics-and-research/statistics/disease-and-injuries/disease-and-injury-statistics-type> [Accessed 4 November 2021].