Impact Resistance


ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 compared with
EN 388:2016

What you need to know about the new ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 Impact Standards

In late February 2019, the much-anticipated ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 Impact Standard was officially published by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). The new voluntary standard is designed to test multiple impact points on the knuckles and fingers, resulting in three levels of measurement. This new American standard is an evolution to the existing European Standard for impact – EN 388:2016.

Bob Dale Gloves and Imports Ltd. is a current member in good standing of the ISEA and was a participant of the ISEA hand protection group at the time of the approval of the ANSI/ISEA 138-2016 standard. This initiative supports Bob Dale Gloves commitment to be the sought-after glove and hand protection provider in North America.

The following contains more detailed information on the ANSI/ISEA 138-2019 impact standard.


The current American standard ANSI/ISEA 105:2016 measures hand protection for abrasion, puncture, tear and cut; additional standards measure chemical protection, but no North American based standard existed for impact protection. The only standard for impact is the European standard EN388:2016 which is measured on pass/fail and does not measure force to the fingers.

Due to the pass/fail aspect of the EN 388:2016 standard, many North American industry professionals and safety officers were looking for an improvement to the current standard to offer a range of measurement to align with specific applications and hazards found on site. The new standard outlines three distinct levels for the impact testing, material performance and labelling criteria for all lab tested gloves.

In addition, there are a variety of glove performance claims by glove manufacturers, which is cause for confusion in the marketplace about technology and protective attributes of gloves for various applications. Having a consistent standard provides a clear guideline for all manufacturers to follow.


The standard establishes minimum performance, testing, classification and labelling requirements, for gloves designed to protect the knuckles and fingers from impact forces while performing occupational tasks.

✓ All testing is to be completed by an Independent Accredited Laboratory that meets conformity assessment standard ISO/IEC 17205.

✓ The overall impact performance rating of the glove will be based on the lowest rating achieved on all the impact points tested.

✓ There are 9 (nine) impact sites tested on each glove (see diagram A).

✓ The palm of the glove is removed and only the back of the hand (opened out and set flat) is tested.

✓ All testing is completed on one pair of size 9 or 10 gloves.

✓ A drop striker will be dropped with an energy force of 5 joules onto the glove which is placed on an anvil.

✓ A total of 18 tested impacts (8 Knuckles, 10 Fingers and Thumb) will be used to calculate the mean of the forces.

✓ All gloves shall be marked to indicate the performance level 1,2 or 3 (3 being the highest level of protection) of resistance claimed.

• Download Quick Guide

The above information is for educational purposes only. For the most accurate and up-to-date information please consult your respective governing bodies (ANSI/ISEA 138).

Bob Dale Gloves is a member of the International Safety Equipment Association.

To top