Under some circumstances it can become difficult to choose the right Glove for a specific application and as such we have

provided the following guide to assist you in making the right choice.

Here at NorthSafetyShop we have over 40 years of experience of working within the Personal Protective Equipment Industry.

If you are unsure or require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us 



It is initially important to asses the nature/degree of the hazard in each particular application which will then define the risk level

Cat 1  Minimal Risk - Temparatures must not exceed 50C

Disposable, Examination, Household, General Purpose, Light Duty, Gardening Gloves

Cat 2  Intermediate Risk

Cut & Puncture Resistant, Mechanical Handling, Re-usable Gloves

Cat 3  Serious Risk - Air Temperatures lower than -50C and above 100C

Chemical, Electrical, Heat, Cold, Ionising Radiation, Chain Saw Gloves


The main materials used indepedently or in combination for glove production are:

Natural Rubber              Latex

Polymers                       Vinyl, Polyurethane, PVA

Synthetic Rubbers         Nitrile, Neoprene, Butyl, Viton  

Textile                            Cotton, Synthetic, Aramid, Steel, High Technology Yarns

Film/Foil                         Polythene, PVA Laminates,

Leather                          Cow, Sheep, Goat, Pig

Speciality                       Chain Mail

            The most common materials used for Disposable (non-Medical) Gloves are

            Latex, Vinyl, Nitrile and Polythene

            Please click on the link opposite for a full breakdown of the pros and cons

            The most common materials for Examination (Medical) Gloves are

            Latex, Vinyl, Synthetic, Hybrid, Aloe Vera, Nitrile

            Please click on the link opposite for a full breakdown of the pros and cons


When using Disposable or Examination gloves it is advisable to choose a close fitting size in order to take full advantage of the flexibility, dexterity and comfort of the glove

Use the chart below to give an indication of the size required

For greater accuracy measure your flattened palm width on your dominant hand using a ruler and then use this measurement to establish your glove size

For Glove sizing for Non-Disposable Gloves,please click on the following link           <<Glove sizing>>


AQL is an abbreviation for the Acceptable Quality Level and denotes a statistical measure of the consistency of quality.

In other words with a lower AQL batch you will have a higher degree of confidence in the level of quality.

     AQL 1.5 or lower denotes that the glove is approved for Medical use - often referred to as an Examination Glove

     AQL 4.0  refers to a non Medical Glove - often referred to as a Disposable Glove

Medical Gloves have a very high manufacturing inspection rate and are suitable for Medical Invasive procedures

As indicated Cat 3 Gloves must be manufactured and continually assesed under an approved quality management system


This affects a small proportion of the population and occurs due to the naturally occuring proteins in the Natural Rubber Glove causing an Allergenic reaction.

In some rare circumstances some chemicals in Non Natural Rubber Gloves can also cause adverse reactions

Most at risk are Healthcare Proffessionals and those with pre-existing skin conditions and allergies.

Powdered Gloves do help in the donning and removal of gloves, but in some cases can exacerbate an allergenic reaction

The risk can be minimised by using  Powder Free Gloves, good hygeine before and after use, minimising time of use, cover any breaks of skin prior to use and no use of oil based creams prior to use.

There are 2 types of reactions

Delayed - where the symptoms are often an itchy swollen red rash

Immediate - where the symptoms can vary and include rash, hives, facial swelling, respiratory distress, rhinitus, conjunctivitis and in extremely rare cases anaphylaxis. Seek urgent medical attention in these cases.

For more detailed information, please click the following links:   

<< USP Powder Info>>..........<<Safe Removal of Gloves>>...........<<Detailed Allergy Booklet>>


CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) the US based world authority for Chemical information, has recently (2015) registered its

100 millionth Chemical Substance, in the 50 years of its existance. Around 75% of these were registered in the last 10 years

In many developed countries in the World there are over 25.000 chemicals in regular use throughout industry.

It is clearly apparent that the vast majority of Chemicals & Chemical compositions remain untested against Protective Gloves.

In order to select the correct glove the following information is required:

     Nature of the Chemical and/or Chemical combination

     Type and duration of Protection required  ie Full immersion, Splash Protection or Contact Protection

     Ambient and Process Conditions ie Temperature, Mechanical and/or Thermal Hazards etc

In many cases the manufacturer of the Chemical or Branded Chemical Composition will advise which glove to use

Under EN374 a Chemical Protective Glove must pass a specific breakthrough time of at least 1-6 chemicals from a group of 18

representative common chemicals. The markings on every Chemical Protective Glove will indicate the number and type of

Chemicals have been tested - Please click on the link below for the group of 18 chemicals. This may asssist you. 

If this does not assist then please click on the link below which outlines a Chemical Glove Guide for 88 common chemicals,

If you are still unsure please contact us, as we hold extensive Chemical Permeation/Degradation Data for many other chemicals

If no Data exists, we can still in many cases, recommend a suitable Protective Glove based on our experience and knowledge


         Page 10     EN420:  General Requirements for Protective Gloves  

             Page 16     EN388:  Gloves giving Protection from Mechanical Risks

                                         Page 20     EN374:  Gloves giving Protection against Chemicals and Micro-organisms

                                                         Page 28     EN407:  Gloves giving Protection from Heat and/or Fire Hazards

                                                         Page 29     EN511:   Gloves giving Protection from Cold

                                                         Page 32     EN421:   Gloves giving Protection Radioactive Contamination & Ionising Radiation

                                                         Page 36     EN1149:  Electrostatic Properties

                                                         Page 37     EN16350:Electrostatic Props for Protective Gloves used in Explosive Environments

                                                         Page 40     EN60903:Electrical Insulating Gloves during Live Working

                                                         Page 44     EN12477:Gloves giving Protection from manual Welding

Main Changes now in effect from EN388:2016 Mechanical Hazards include

Abrasion Resistance -

The abrasion test is done with a new abrasive paper (Klingspor PL31B 180 grit), which is a more reliable quality paper than the one used previously (Oakey Grade F2 100 grit)

Some gloves which previously were borderline passes will probably not meet the required standard for the new testing regime. Gloves which previously easily passed a certain level are unlikely to be affected. 

Cut Resistance -

The original test was to use a circular rotating blade (Coupe Method). In some cases, especially in the use of newer high technology yarns, the blade dulled quite quickly and gave an inaccurate result. This test is still used and the result marked as normal. If the test is not performed then in this case X is used to denote this

Tear Resistance - No major changes

Puncture Resistance - No major changes

New Cut Resistance -

If during the Coupe Cut Resistance Test, the blade is blunted within 60 passes or if by choice, then the new ISO 13997 straight blade test (TDM-100) is undertaken. The result is designated in the fifth position by the letter A - F or If this test is not performed then a letter X. If both tests are performed then the ISO test takes precedence and the Coupe classification is given for information purposes only. The ISO Test Metthod is considered more accurate, particularly for high cut resistant materials

For more information, please refer to the UVEX video link below which summarises the current status very well. 

New Impact Protection Test -

This test is intended for gloves designed for protection against impact. Gloves that do not offer impact protection will not be subjected to this test. For that reason, there are three potential ratings that will be given P (Pass) F (Fail) X (Not Tested)

In conclusion Gloves designed for Potection against Mechanical Hazards will now have a a Pictogram with 6 alpha numerical designations rather than the 4 designations under the old standard

Main Changes now in effect from EN374:2016 Chemical & Micro-orghanism Hazards include

Chemical Resistance

The number of representative test chemicals have increased from 12 to 18 - please see link above                                                The test methods have been modified but the permeation rate is in the same format

All gloves which are classed as Chemical Resistant will show the fuming flask icon.                                                                        This icon will indicate whether the glove is type A, B or C

EN374-1/Type A Gloves have passed Level 2 permeation (>30 mins) for at least 6 chemicals from the representative list

EN374-1/Type B Gloves have passed Level 2 permeation (>30 mins) for at least 3 chemicals from the representative list

EN374-1/Type C Gloves have passed Level 1 permeation (>10 mins) for at least 1 chemical from the representative list

The letter which represents the chemical that was tested will be printed under the pictogramm

Micro-Organism Resistance -

For gloves offering protectiion against Micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi), the biohazard pictogram EN 374-5 is applied. For this the protective glove must be tested according to EN374-2:2013 for leakage proofness. For protection against bacteria, fungi, AND virus, the biohazard pictogram is accompanied with the term “VIRUS“, underneath. For this protective standard, the glove must be tested according to EN374-2:2013 for bacteria and fungi and tested according to ISO16604: 2004 (Method B) using the bacteriophage penetration test.                                                                                       

With this standard, protective gloves against micro-organisms can be claimed with or without chemical protection and vice versa.