What You Need to Know About the New ANSI/ISEA 138 Impact Glove Standard

What You Need to Know About the New ANSI/ISEA 138 Impact Glove Standard

Recently a new update to the ANSI/ISEA standards was released, and we’ve got all the information you need to know. This is a standard that provides a unified classification system when it comes to impact protection among all manufacturers. This makes it easier for industries to make more informed choices when it comes to selecting impact-resistant gloves for their employees.
The goal of this new standard Is to help classify the different levels of impact protection found in various gloves, as opposed to a simple pass/fail standard like the EN 388. This new standard also shifts testing focus from only the knuckles to knuckles and fingers as well.
By creating the ANSI/ISEA 138 standard, this greatly helps the end user, the buyer. When manufacturers are required to abide by this new standard, it gives the power to the purchaser to understand the level of protection various gloves will offer them. The standard homogenizes glove testing methods which results in clear and dependable classifications so that buyers can truly make informed buying decisions.
This new standard was developed by both the American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association in addition to experts from material manufacturer D3O and a hand surgeon.
This standard removes the guess work that sometimes comes from the “honor system”. Gloves are no longer able to be tested by the manufacturer themselves, but by a third party company that runs standard and accurate tests on all gloves. The test is performed by having a falling mass drop on the knuckles and on the fingers. The force transferred is recorded (kN). The test is repeated 8 times for the knuckles and 10 times for the fingers. The results are reviews and a classification is made for the glove. There are three levels of performance.


Performance Level

Mean Transmitted Force


Less than or equal to 9 kN


Less than or equal to 6.5 kN


Less than or equal to 4 kN


Hopefully this new standard will make purchasing impact-resistant work gloves for yourself and your employees an easier and more straightforward process.

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