puncture resistance

When you work at a factory that’s full of all kinds of hazards, you need to have proper protective equipment to keep you safe from dangerous injuries. One of those PPE includes gloves, an essential part of keeping oneself safe in industrial work. But even so, the problem most workers face is getting their safety gloves punctured which, as a result, decreases the level of safety and protection they’ll get from those gloves. This is a huge risk that needs to be determined and tackled on time to avoid negative consequences.

To help you determine this issue on time, we’re going to talk about puncture resistance, its importance, and different OSHA-recommended standards for it.

What is Puncture Resistance and What are its Benefits?

Puncture resistance is a legal requirement, especially when a worker is at a huge risk of their work gloves suffering damage due to working conditions or the high-risk tasks they’re performing on a day-to-day basis that involve the use of sharp tools. OSHA has laws in place that punish workplaces that fail to provide proper hand protection to workers, which can result in accidental exposure.

Puncture resistance against sharper objects is provided by nitrile glove coatings whereas puncture resistance against finer objects is provided through a thicker glove design consisting of Kevlar, steel mesh, epoxy plates, etc. that also have their own disadvantages like discomfort, lack of dexterity, level of protection, etc.

Puncture-resistant gloves are important for industrial workers to stay safe from any unnecessary tools poking a hole through their protective gloves and making work harder for them. These gloves are durable enough to work for a long period of time and make work easier for employees in construction sites and factories.

A glove must be able to resist at least 20 newtons worth of punctures, certified as the lowest level of protection against sharp objects e.g. needles, and the highest level must resist at least 150 newtons of force. Whereas for finer objects, puncture resistance should be against at least 2 newtons of force for the lowest level and at least 10 newtons of force to be considered the highest level.

Industrial Standard for Puncture Resistance

To choose the right puncture resistance gloves, we need to be aware of what are the industrial requirements for proper puncture resistance, since it’s among the major mechanical properties of protective equipment. The industrial standards for puncture resistance are determined through the EN388 standardized tests, recognized by both ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and EN388 standards.

EN388 & ANSI Puncture Resistance Tests

In this test, a probe is used to stimulate a tear to measure the amount of force needed for a blunt probe to pierce through the glove material. The steps go as:

  • A ballpoint pen is used as a probe.
  • The test fabric is put between two plates in a holder.
  • The probe penetrates at a 90° angle at 100 mm/minute
  • The results are reported and noted down in Newtons.

These results, given in Newtons, are converted to a 1-4 scale for EN388 and 1-5 for ANSI/ISEA 105. This scale goes from 10 to 150 newtons of puncture resistance.

Lowest Level Highest Level
Level 1 2 3 4 5
ANSI/ISEA 105 10-19 N 20-59 N 60-99 N 100-149 150+
EN388 20-59 N 60-99 N 100-149 N 150+ N

Puncture-Resistant Materials

When choosing puncture-resistant materials for gloves, the following are the most common:


The most common material in manufacturing industrial gloves, they’re a great choice for resisting blunt puncture. Although, all leather isn’t equal and at times, they’re not well-designed for hypodermic needles.

Woven Kevlar

The most popular choice after leather, woven Kevlar can protect against both, punctures and cuts. Though just like leather, all Kevlar gloves are made differently, making them unsuitable for hypodermic needles and other such conditions.

Metal Mesh

Though they’re considered a good option against both fine and blunt punctures, they break over time, making the gloves not durable or economic enough for long-term use.

Epoxy Plates

This material provides a high-level protection against cuts and punctures, though, with their multi-layered manufacture, the gloves can be bulky and interfere with dexterity and flexibility.

Standards to Train Employees on the Use of Puncture Resistant Gloves

Employers need to teach employees the proper use of gloves since puncture-resistant gloves don’t necessarily mean cut-resistant gloves and vice versa. Hence, employees need to be trained on how to choose the right gloves according to the following conditions.:

  • When puncture-resistant gloves are necessary.
  • Which level of puncture-resistant gloves should be used.
  • How to properly put on, take off, adjust, and wear gloves.
  • Proper care, maintenance, and use of puncture-resistant gloves.

Furthermore, all the protective and puncture-resistant gloves should be inspected before and after use to ensure they’ve not suffered any damage, and if they have, they need to be replaced soon. Gloves that are discolored or stiff may also indicate that they’re due for a change and inefficient to be used. Reuse of puncture-resistant gloves should be considered carefully, since they may have faced cuts you’re not yet aware of. Filling the glove with water might indicate pinhole leaks more clearly.

This is all you need to know about puncture-resistant gloves, their materials, standards, and benefits. It should, however, be noted that puncture resistance and cut resistance aren’t the same things. And a lot of times, due to the popularity of cut-resistant gloves, a lot of companies don’t mention their puncture-resistant ratings. Therefore, it’s always important to find out which gloves provide which level of protection against punctures so that workers can be provided the best possible work gloves for their tasks.

Elite-Leather Creations provide a number of different options when it comes to puncture-resistant gloves, depending on different resistance levels tested industrially to be made available for commercial use. The closely woven properties of these gloves are what most factories and employers look for when choosing the right kind of high-quality protective gloves for their employees.

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