Puncture vs Needlestick Resistance: Why They're Not the Same

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Often, a glove that claims to be needlestick resistant may have a poor puncture resistance rating, causing confusion for our customers. How can a glove be expected to stop something as sharp as a hypodermic needle if it fails to hold its own against standard puncture hazards? Read on to find out.

Sharp Differences

The answer lies in the difference between the respective meanings of – and testing required for – puncture and needlestick resistance:

  • Puncture Resistance - To test the puncture resistance of a safety glove, a steel stylus (like a large metal nail) is pressed into the taut fabric of the glove. The force required for the stylus to puncture the fabric is the measurement used in the rating chart. Although the metal used is similar to a large nail, it is not a needlestick.
  • Needlestick Resistance -  In order to offer resistance against much finer sharps such as needles, thin wire or shards of glass, gloves need a different set of properties that aren't tested under standard EN 388 definitions. Every needlestick-resistant glove must go through rigorous testing, but since these requirements aren't covered by EN 388 regulations, it's important to look for those brands that are highly trusted for needlestick resistance.

FINE lines

Bearing in mind this distinction, it's quite possible for a glove to be developed to be highly resistant to needlesticks while failing the EN 388 puncture-resistance testing.

In other words, it simply does not follow that every needlestick-resistant glove will be puncture resistant, and vice versa.

Trusted Quality

The most important thing is to select a safety glove that is appropriate for your exact requirements and risks. Here at Safety Gloves, we are proud to be able to supply needlestick-resistant gloves from some of the most trusted brands in the industry, so you can be sure that you are getting some of the best protection available.

If you need further help, our product experts are on hand on 020 7501 1104 (lines open from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday).