EN374 3

Standard EN374 stands for protection against chemical hazards and micro-organisms from work gloves. The pictograms and designations EN374-1, EN374-2 and EN374-3 indicate the degree of protection the work gloves offer against hazards from chemicals and micro-organisms. This is done through a thirty-minute breakthrough time test (also known as permeation). To qualify for the EN374-3 standard, the test must achieve a breakthrough time of at least thirty minutes for at least three chemicals. In other words, the chemicals must not break through the glove within half an hour.

The performance level of the work glove is indicated by a number between 1 and 6. Here, number 1 (a breakthrough time of less than ten minutes) means minimum protection and number 6 (a breakthrough time of less than 480 minutes) means maximum protection. This is according to the now obsolete EN 374:2003 standard. This standard focuses mainly on penetration and permeation of hazardous substances and acids. Penetration means that the glove must not leak and permeation indicates that the glove must not absorb chemicals, otherwise the skin will still come into contact with the substance.

The new EN ISO 374:2016 standard refines the requirements that work gloves must meet to protect workers' hands from (dangerous) micro-organisms and chemicals. In fact, the new standard makes the test results more consistent. It replaces the three pictograms from the old EN 374 standard with a single pictogram for three categories of chemical gloves. This is indicated by a letter. Gloves are classified as Type A, Type B or Type C and are labelled with new pictograms. The new standard thus specifies three levels of protection based on permeation performance.