PPE Glove Guide

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This guide helps you choose the most appropriate reusable or disposable glove to use in your workplace enviroment and for your application. It sets out the important points to consider when selecting a glove and provides details of the different types of glove we offer.

We include an overview of relevant safety standards that you should be aware of when choosing either reusable or disposable gloves, as well as how and where to measure to get the right fit.

Topics in this guide





Glove Materials


Glove Types


Getting the Perfect Fit

Choosing the correct size of glove is important. Wearing gloves that are too tight or too loose can impair the grip or create folds and be uncomfortable.

When users are issued with comfortable gloves of the correct size, they are more likely to be worn and safety is less likely to be compromised.

1. Measure the circumference of your hand as shown

2. Move the slider below to your size in centimeters

3. Read your glove size opposite

You require size



Safety Standards

Reusable and Disposbale gloves within the RS range are provided by a number of suppliers and manufacturers and each is designed to comply with differing protection standards.

The European and US standards are still the most frequently referred to even outside these continents. There are some national standards and specifications available although these are not normally recognised outside of their regions.

General Requirements EN420

Electrical Safety Gauntlets

Mechanical Hazards EN388

Chemical and Micro-Organism EN374

Thermal Hazards (Heat and/or Fire) EN407

Protection from Cold EN511

Medical Use

Electrostatic properties EN1149

Medical Devices Directives 93/42/EEC

Select a standard

Hover over a standard to learn more.

General Requirements EN420

EN420 defines the general requirements for most types of protective gloves:

  • Product and packaging infomation and marking
  • Design and construction
  • Fitness for the purpose
  • Comfort and efficiency
  • Innocuousness
  • Storage
  • Sizing

Electrical Safety Gauntlets

Electrical Safety Gauntlets are classed by the maximum working AC voltage that they protect against:

Mechanical Hazards EN388

  1. Resistance to abrasion
  2. Blade cut resistance
  3. Tear Resistance
  4. Puncture Resistance

Chemical and Micro-Organism EN374

EN374-2 Resistance to penetration by micro-organisms. Referred to as Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)

EN374-3 Resistance to chemcical hazards (permeation)

Thermal Hazards (Heat and/or Fire) EN407

  1. Burning Behaviour
  2. Contact Heat
  3. Convection Heat
  4. Radiant Heat
  5. Small splashes of molten metal
  6. Large splashes of molten metal

Protection from Cold EN511

  1. Resistance to convection cold
  2. Resistance to contact cold
  3. Permeability to water

Medical Use

EN455 defines the requirements and testing carried out on single-use gloves intended for medical purposes. It covers 4 key areas:

EN455-1:Freedom from holes

EN455-2:Physical Properties

EN455-3:Biological evaluation

EN455-4:Shelf life determination

Electrostatic Properties EN1149

There are a series of standards for testing methods and requirements for the electrostatic properties of protective clothing. Coverage includes:

EN1149-1:Measure of surface resistivity

EN1149-3:Measure of charge decay

EN1149-5:Material and design requirements

Medical Devices Directives 93/42/EEC

The Medical Device Directives classify devices according to the potential hazard, expected duration of contact and expected invasiveness.If a product conforms to the Medical Devices Directives it must carry a CE mark on its packaging and may also provide a statement of its classification. In addition, the properties of medical devices are described by a range of standards.

Glove Material

Disposable gloves are split into categories according to their construction material. Click to expand to find out more


Latex: Designed for comfort and dexterity.

See all latex gloves


Neoprene: Possess very high chemical resistance and are low in allergens.

See all neoprene gloves


Vinyl: A low cost glove with low allergens.

See all vinyl gloves


Nitrile: With high chemical resistance, high strength and puncture resistant.

See all nitrile gloves


Polyethylene: Another low cost glove with low strength.

See all polyethylene gloves


Polymer: Comfortable to wear, with low allergens and moderate strength.

See all polymer gloves

Glove Types


Reduces the effect of impact, shock and vibration for users of powered hand-held tools, or those needing to hold a workpiece in direct contact with machinery.

Reusable gloves

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Chemical resistant

Protects users from harmful chemical effects used in industrial and pharmaceutical applications.

Reusable gloves Disposable gloves

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Cold resistant

Protects users from extreme cold exposure for applications such as farming, construction and machine operation.

Reusable gloves

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Cut resistant

Provides protection from sharp objects. Typically used in food and catering applications.

Reusable gloves

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Electrical safety

Protects electrical engineers from shock while working on live electrical equipment.

Reusable gloves

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General purpose

Gives the wearer protection against a variety of hazards such as cut, tear, puncture or abrasion. Used where protection from more than one hazard is needed.

Reusable gloves

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Heat resistant

Protects from extreme heat exposure. Typically used in laboratory work, construction or catering.

Reusable gloves

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Puncture resistant

Protects users from sharp objects such as glass fragments, metal shards, wood splinters, nails, wire and needles.

Reusable gloves

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Special purpose

A range of gloves to include oil repellent, flame resistant and those with special coatings for niche applications.

Reusable gloves

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These gloves offer the highest level of quality for higher-risk environments.

Disposable gloves

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Minimal risk

Protects user from low-level risks for janitorial, general maintenance and light food processing tasks.

Disposable gloves

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Technologies we offer

Use one of these links to view the products on the RS website

Mechanical Hazards

Best performing gloves


Thermal Hazards

Best performing gloves


Protection from Cold

Best performing gloves


Chemical Hazards

Best performing gloves