The European PPE directive 89/656/EEC requires indication of level of risk namely ‘minimal’ and ‘irreversible’ to the gloves according to the appropriate risk level. Any risk classified between the two categories may be identified as ‘intermediate’. The gloves must carry the designated marking on the product or on the packaging, whichever possible.
Gloves of simple design
Gloves of simple design may be defined as gloves that are manufactured for low level risks applications such as janitorial or other basic industrial applications. Manufacturers of gloves in this category are required to internally test and certify the gloves, hence there is no requirement for any external third-party test or certifications.
Gloves of intermediate design
The category can be defined as gloves which are designed for applications involving intermediate risks such as general handling which require good cut, puncture and abrasion performance. The gloves are required to undergo testing and certification by an external third party organization. Furthermore, the manufacturers’ quality assurance system must also be checked by an independent organization. Details of the certified independent organization must appear on the gloves’ instruction for use. Gloves in this category are given the following CE mark. Only approved certified bodies are capable of issuing a CE mark.
Gloves of complex design
This category involves gloves designed for the highest level of risks such as chemical handling. Similar to category 2, the gloves must also undergo through testing and certification by a certified third party. Furthermore, the quality consistency and quality assurance system put in place by the manufacturer must be inspected by an external third party organization. The certified testing organization will be identified by a number which must be displayed alongside the CE mark.