Workplace Solutions Hand/arm protection

Safety glove selection

How has the new ANSI cut level guide impacted improvements with glove selection processes?


Responding is Larry Garner, chief marketing officer, MCR Safety, Collierville, TN.

Our new ANSI cut level guide, ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, provides safety professionals and consumers a 
better guide for determining their level of cut performance options. It is important to recognize that our industry has progressed with lighter-weight yarns that are more cut-resistant. This has benefited our industry by providing thinner gloves with greater cut protection. Our new guide provides nine levels of cut performance versus only five previously. Additionally, test performance levels are available greater than 6,000 grams versus 3,500 grams. Last but not least, our current standard incorporates the “A” prefix to identify the ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard, as follows:

  • A1– 201-499 grams – Modest protection (some manufacturers do not endorse A1 for cut protection)
  • A2 – 500-999 grams – Light protection
  • A3 – 1,000-1,499 grams – Light/medium protection
  • A4 – 1,500-2,199 grams – Medium protection
  • A5 – 2,200-2,999 – Medium/high protection
  • A6 – 3,000-3,999 grams – High protection
  • A7 – 4,000-4,999 grams – Higher protection
  • A8 – 5,000-5,999 grams – Highest protection
  • A9 – 6,000+ grams – Extreme protection

The ANSI/ISEA cut level score is not required to be advertised in the United States. However, most manufacturers recognize the value in providing the level of cut protection (A2 through A9) with higher-gram performance on the product.

Our industry continues to be challenged with reducing the number of hand injuries. National Safety Council data cites failure to wear gloves as a leading contributor to hand injuries. With thinner, more consumer-friendly gloves providing higher levels of cut protection, we have new opportunities to reduce injuries by making it possible for people to perform tasks while wearing their gloves.

Advances are also continuing to evolve with polymer coatings that contribute to greater efficiency, grip and productivity. These advances are available with seamless-knit construction as well as cut-and-sewn for multitask styles.

Several of our industry’s glove suppliers have contributed to the development of our current standard and are participating members of the International Safety Equipment Association. ISEA is the leading association for personal protective equipment and technologies that enable people to work in hazardous environments, and an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization. The association works closely with manufacturers, test labs, subject matter experts, end-users and government agencies in the standards development process. ISEA members – leaders in safety equipment manufacturing, testing and application – are united in the goal of protecting workers worldwide. For additional information, please visit

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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