The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), has this week announced that it has embarked on a new initiative that aims to bring back-of-the hand impact protection testing and performance into the industry as a new requirement standard for businesses. The leading association for PPE and technologies that enable people to work in hazardous environments has stated that it intends to develop this criteria as a part of the widely met ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification.

According to ISEA, Glove suppliers and workplace safety experts recognize that impact hazards can cause injuries to the fingers, knuckles and bones in the back of the hand. Many suppliers, such as D3O approved brand partners, Superior Glove, Mechanix, MCR Safety and Majestic, are offering gloves with features designed to protect wearers against these injuries, but to-date there are no uniform tests to evaluate gloves for impact protection. The ISEA project will focus on developing industry-accepted test criteria to measure the reduction of peak impact force across the hand, and a set of classifications to enable users to select gloves suited to their work environments.

In a voluntary standards compliance environment like the US, manufacturers will only produce products that meet standards if there is demand from end users. So there is a burden on PPE purchasers to request products from the value chain that meet specific standards.

Rodney Taylor, D3O Global Sales and Marketing Manager

Global Sales and Marketing Manager, Rodney Taylor, who leads D3O’s Industrial Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) business, agrees that a lack of global consistency currently exists in impact protection standards:

“In North America, there are really no government mandated performance standards in place, like we see in some other regions of the world with large volume PPE consumption. The result is that safety professionals are faced with the daunting task of wading through thousands of different products – all with different performance claims – to select the appropriate PPE for their workers.

“For impact protective gloves, performance can vary widely by manufacturer. Yet, without a performance standards infrastructure in place for impact protection, there is no reliable means of making comparisons between different products on an equal basis.

“Standards provide an objective means of evaluating performance and reduce complexity in the purchasing process. But, in a voluntary standards compliance environment like the US, manufacturers will only produce products that meet standards if there is demand from end users. So there is a burden on PPE purchasers to request products from the value chain that meet specific standards.”