May 16, 2019 | Joe Geng |

Recap: New Impact Standard Webinar

There’s a brand new impact standard for North America that was specifically designed to keep your fingers and knuckles safe from crushes, pinches, and knocks. Our safety expert, Dan Duffey, hosted an impact webinar where he discussed everything you’ll need to know to keep your hands safe – and he did it all in under 30 minutes!

Did you miss it? Don’t worry! We’ve got the whole thing recorded, click below to view at your leisure. For those of you that can’t watch the video, we’ve transcribed the webinar below.

Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive blog on ANSI/ISEA 138, the new impact standard, which has detailed information and diagrams explaining the new standard in plain English.

NATALIE: Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us for today’s webinar. My name is Natalie and I’m part of the marketing team here at Superior Glove.

Superior Glove is the leading manufacturer of industrial gloves with the mission to keep workers safe through innovation.

Today we’re presenting the new ANSI/ISEA 138 Glove Dorsal Impact Protection Standard a.k.a. the new impact standard, presented by our very own Dan Duffey.

Just a little housekeeping before we get started; if you have any questions during the presentation, please type them into the question box in your control panel. We’ll have some time at the end of the presentation to try and answer as many questions as we can.

Now, without further ado, let’s turn the time over to Dan. Our presenter today has worked in the health and safety sector for over thirty years. During his career, he has spent thirteen years working on the distribution side and almost twenty years working in manufacturing, giving him an unparalleled experiential background in safety.

Since 2013, Dan has been part of the Superior Glove family, where he leads the Western U.S. market. Dan and his team work diligently to achieve their goal of helping all workers come home safe to their families.

DAN: Well thanks, Natalie. And thank you all for joining us today and also thank you to some of my friends out there who made sure that they would all be listening today, so thanks.

So, let’s get started with a poll. Just curious, how many of you listening today have experienced or know someone who has had an impact-type of injury. I don’t care if it happened at work or at home, now we all know we have to take all the safety home with us, just curious we’ll give you a few seconds to answer that question.

NATALIE: Alright, Dan. We’ll give a few more seconds but it’s looking like 85% of people have actually experienced an impact injury or know someone who has.

DAN: Okay, that’s pretty natural. That’s pretty high, sorry to hear about all those injuries, but that’s why we have this new standard.

So we’ll start with the agenda, we’ll start with the problem, and at the end we’ll summarize everything and answer some questions at the end.

So here’s the problem: The reality is that over 43% of injuries happen to the hands and fingers. These injuries also account for the highest number of days off. This is a statistic that, unfortunately, seems to be climbing every year.

Now, while I’m at it, let’s just add that the cost of a hand injury is over $22,000. So as the saying goes, don’t be a statistic.

My goal today is to make you more familiar with the new impact standard. Now I know we all have the same goal: to keep everyone safe.

So we’ve established that there is a high number of hand injuries occurring. And it is a major issue for those responsible to specify the correct hand protection. Now that’s a very difficult job, especially with all the new gloves coming out. This is true for all the types of gloves, but definitely for the impact protective gloves.

You have all these gloves on the market, either making no performance claims or presenting performance in all different types of ways.

How do you know what product is right for your application? But we all know a solution is needed.

NATALIE: Alright, so let’s talk about ANSI/ISEA 138, Dan.

DAN: Okay, here we go.

There has never been a North American standard for impact protection. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) developed this new standard to establish testing, classification, and labeling requirements that are commonly used in automotive, construction, cargo handling, oil and gas, and transportation-type injuries.

Now this is a new and voluntary standard for the North American market. It was designed to accurately classify different levels of impact protection.

Why do we need this standard? Well, simply put, this standard will help you choose the right impact protection to minimize any injuries. And please call us so we can help you choose the correct glove for your specific work environment.

Now, hopefully, you won’t feel the need to bang your hands against the wall anymore to test for impact protection.

Superior Glove does welcome this new standard; in fact, we are part of the group that helped prepare the standard.

NATALIE: Alright, so I heard that the standard is voluntary, is that true?

DAN: Well yes it is, Natalie, it is true. Now the standard is voluntary, but it was developed to help make the best decision for everyone’s safety – and it was approved by ANSI.

NATALIE: So then who is the International Safety Equipment Association that helped develop the standard?

DAN: Okay, well good question. Now for those that aren’t familiar with the ISEA, it is made up of 100 companies that work together to establish these types of standards. They formed a hand-protection committee that included seven companies and a hand surgeon who just happens to be from my state of Arizona.

They say an image, or in this case a video, is worth a 1,000 words, so let’s take a look at the video.

[A slow-motion video plays of a piece of candy being crushed in an impact-testing machine.]

DAN: Okay, so that video was shot in our own research and development facility showing the impact test. So impact resistance has to be tested by an independent, accredited laboratory. A third-party testing facility must be used.

Now, an icon will be used to represent the three levels of protection. The overall performance level of the glove is determined by the lowest performance level recorded on that glove. During testing, no part of the glove can crack or shatter, producing sharp edges when impacted.

Icons are to be used by all manufacturers to indicate the dorsal impact classification. These icons will help workers choose the right level of protection.

Okay, the solution! So, we now have a North American standard in place for dorsal impact protection. But up until now, we just had the ANSI/ISEA 105 standard that mostly focused on cut protection.

There is a European standard for impact, EN 388. But this standard only tests for the knuckles; it does not include the fingers. Also, it only gives a pass/fail result.

Here are the icons that’ll represent the three levels in protection. Now you’ll notice an abbreviation, kN. To better understand, you probably should know what a kN is.

NATALIE: So what is a kN, Dan?

DAN: kN stands for kilonewton,

NATALIE: And what’s a kilonewton?

DAN: Glad you asked, a kilonewton is an internationally recognized unit of force. One kilonewton is equal to approximately 100 kilograms, which is equal to 220 pounds. And 1 newton is equal to 0.225 pounds.

So what you’re looking for is the lowest kilonewton or lowest force that could pass through to your hand. You want that impact protection to dissipate the impact. So the lower kilonewton number will give you a higher impact rating.

An interesting fact about kilonewtons: They are named after Sir Isaac Newton, that’s where the name comes from.

Let’s look at the different icons that you’ll be seeing on the gloves. You may see some impact gloves that won’t even meet the lowest level. And you may see those gloves advertised as maybe bump protection.

So let’s look at Level 1. This is the lowest protection that results in a mean of 6.5 to less than or equal to 9. So all impact tests must be less than or equal to 11.3. This is all in kilonewtons.

Level 2 would result in a mean of 4 to less than or equal to 6.5. Now, all impacts must be less than or equal to 8.1.

Level 3 is the highest rating, resulting in a mean of zero to less than or equal to 4. So all impacts must be less than or equal to 5.

Here are a few examples of applications at each level. Just think of any activity where you could smash, crush, or pinch your hands. Of course, for each application, you can’t have higher impacts than normal. The end user should always be the final decision maker.

Let’s look at Level 1. This would be a great glove for activities such as carpentry, mechanical work, or light construction.

Level 2 would be great for heavy construction, using heavy machinery, or mining, depending on the activity.

Level 3, the highest protection, would be great for heavy material handling, oil maintenance, or heavy construction, depending on the activity.

This slide shows some examples of gloves at each level of impact protection, you can see how difficult it would be to determine the protection just by sight.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 76% of hand injuries are the result of cuts and crushes. Now crushes are primarily concentrated on the regions shown on the slide. This is why they’re the central focus of the new standard. This photo represents where the tests are performed on the glove. Both gloves are tested so there are eight impacts in total. Here’s another interesting fact – knuckles can break at 4,000 newtons or about 900 pounds of force. Now the fingers are tested at both 25 mm from the fingertip and 50 mm from the fingertip, as shown on the illustration. After getting all your test results from all the impact locations, the better level of protection given is a lower kilonewton result. If you get a bunch of 2s but have one result of 1, then your level of protection can only be Level 1.

Here’s a video that shows testing in our facility.

[Slow-motion video plays of impact glove undergoing impact testing]

Now that you know all about the new standard, what should you be looking for in a glove? Well first, look for a glove that is comfortable, because stiff and bulky gloves just aren’t worn – or we take them off to perform certain tasks. That’s when an accident will happen.

Did you know that 70% of hand injuries occur when workers aren’t wearing their gloves? Do an easy task like picking up a pencil with a glove and compare that to another glove you’re considering. Now you should be able to do this without much difficulty. The ultimate test would be getting a couple samples and testing them in your own work environment.

Next, does the impact protection cover the important impact points? You should look closely at the fingertips and the thumb. In the picture above, check out the glove on the left. You must have protection all the way to the fingertips. My experience has shown that this is an extremely important feature. You also want complete back-of-hand protection. You can see the thumb is completely protected and there’s even a reinforcement. Now I know what glove I would pick.

Let me tell you a story that happened to me on my very first impact protection meeting. It happened about six years ago when very few companies were using impact protection. I was visiting an oil and gas company in Northern California, and I met with Dave, who was the Safety Manager for a major drilling company. Another company was using a heavy string-knit glove with no protection from oil, cuts, bruises, or fractures. Now, he was a seasoned veteran and said that their guys were tough and didn’t mind a few stitches or breaks once in a while. This was the first time that he had seen an impact glove and he bragged about how he spent only $0.50 per pair of gloves and wanted to know how much our glove cost. He almost fell out of his chair when I told him. After that short visit, I felt that I had failed because I couldn’t convince him of the value of this type of glove. Now the glove I showed him not only had impact protection, but also cut resistance. When I followed up with him, he basically brushed me off with, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” which is why I was so surprised to hear from him only a month later. Turns out, he had just had a worker lose a finger. This worker had been tightening some bolts when his hand slipped into some gears and crushed his finger; he quickly pulled his hand out. Unfortunately, this quick action severed his finger and the finger could not be saved. But Dave admitted that the impact glove I had shown him earlier probably would have made the accident less severe. Well, Dave became a believer in impact protection.

But the story doesn’t end there! Dave had someone else who had a similar type of accident but this time the worker was wearing an impact and cut resistant glove. Dave believes the glove most likely saved his finger.

NATALIE: Thanks for sharing, Dan. I think that story does a really good job showcasing why the standard needed to be created and why it’s so important. So that everyone knows, we do have a great resources at, where we’ve hosted all the latest information about innovation, standards, and the best place to start your journey in finding the right glove for you. is also a dedicated page to everything impact, including the latest information, safety tips, and all the latest news regarding the introduction of this new standard in North America.

Joe Geng
About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove