Choosing Gloves

Regulations & Other Considerations


When products contain chemicals that could present a hazard for workers, and the hazard cannot be eliminated through the use of engineering controls, use of a safer alternative or work practices, employers are required to provide appropriate gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 29 CFR 1926.95 for PPE, requires employers “to ensure that appropriate PPE is provided, effectively used, and maintained".

Employers are responsible for:

  • Performing a "hazard assessment" of the workplace to identify and control physical and health hazards.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees.
  • Training employees in the use and care of the PPE.
  • Maintaining PPE, including replacing worn or damaged PPE.
  • Periodically reviewing, updating and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program.

In addition to the OSHA regulation, ANSI/ISEA provides voluntary standards to help guide employers in selecting the correct gloves.  

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 addresses the classification and testing of hand protection for specific performance properties related to mechanical protection (cut-resistance, puncture resistance and abrasion resistance), chemical protection (permeation resistance, degradation) and other performance characteristics such as ignition resistance and vibration reductions.  Gloves are classified to a performance level ranging from 0 to 6 based upon their performance when evaluated against defined industry test methods.  Such ratings can assist users to select appropriate hand protection for known specific hazards in the workplace.  Recent changes have been made to this standard surrounding the determination of classification for cut-resistance, including the use of a single test method for testing in an effort to provide consistent meaning of the ratings from the end-user perspective. Classification levels have been expanded to address the disparate gap among certain levels seen in earlier versions and to model the approach used in similar international standards.  

ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 ​consolidates the requirements of ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 and ANSI/ISEA 207, American National Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests in an effort to establish a single, comprehensive document that considers all occupational tasks.  The standard presents three performance classes of garments based on the amount of visible materials and design attributes incorporated into the final configuration, and identifies garment types based on expected use settings and work activities being performed.  Responding to user concerns, the 2015 standard makes allowance for garments sized to fit smaller workers, and adds specifications for accessories such as gloves and armbands. The standard details the performance requirements for all materials used in the construction of compliant high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA), specifies labeling requirements to identify the garment by performance class, type and by its flame resistance characteristics as defined in the standard and expands the examples of garment configurations to illustrate compliant and non-compliant designs.

Learn More


  • Global Standards for Hand Protection (Note: webinar is FREE, and registration is required.)
    This webinar will outline recent changes in glove standards and describe the specific methods used to test gloves under ANSI/ISEA 105 and EN388. New testing methods are helping realign manufacturers’ claims and reduce confusion over glove performance in the global marketplace.
  • New Standard for High Visibility and How it Applies to Gloves (Note: webinar is FREE, and registration is required.)
    The new ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 now includes high visibility standards for optional accessories – gloves, arm/leg bands and headwear/hoods. This means that if you want to meet the standard, your PPE should be made using ANSI-107 compliant reflective and fluorescent materials. Learn what to look for, what it means and how to stay safe at work. 

Other Considerations

Selecting the right glove for a product can be challenging because a glove designed for one chemical or function may not be effective for another. Employers should begin by conducting a hazard assessment and consider:

  • What chemicals are in the product? (Check the Label and the Safety Data Sheet to learn more)
  • How the worker will come in contact with the chemical (splash or immersion) and for how long?
  • How much of the worker's skin will be exposed – hand, forearm, etc.?
  • How much dexterity will the worker need?
  • Will thermal protection be needed?
  • Will the work involve abrasive materials and will the gloves need to be puncture/cut resistant?

Learn more