AQL Glove Ratings: why "smaller" can be better

AQL Glove Ratings
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AQL Glove Ratings: why "smaller" can be better

When it comes to PPE, how certain are you that yours or your colleagues hands are protected against chemical, biological or other hazards? How do you know which gloves are likely to provide more protection than others?

When it comes to selecting gloves, a simple place to start would be to look at the AQL (acceptable quality standard) rating shown on the packaging. It will be shown as a number such as 4.0 or 1.5 or 0.65 or 0.25.

What is AQL and how is it determined?

AQL (acceptable quality standard) ratings show the rate that gloves may be defective and leak. The AQL is determined by a selecting and vigorously testing a specified number of gloves from each manufactured batch. Each selected glove is pressurised using water or air to see how many have defects (leaks) through pin holes, tears or other weaknesses.

Confidence in use Batch testing
An AQL or 0.25 means that 1 in every 400 gloves may have a leak defect. An AQL or 0.25 means that no more than 2 gloves may fail from each test batch of 315 gloves
An AQL or 0.65 means that 1 in every 150 gloves may have a leak defect. An AQL or 0.65 means that up to 5 gloves may fail from each test batch of 315 gloves
An AQL or 1.5 means that 1 in every 65 gloves may have a leak defect. An AQL or 1.5 means that up to 10 gloves may fail from each test batch of 315 gloves
An AQL of 4, means that 1 in every 25 gloves may have a leak defect. An AQL or 4.0 means that up to 21 gloves may fail from each test batch of 315 gloves

 

If no AQL is shown, then it is very likely that the gloves do not comply with the stringent controls for protection against chemicals and micro organisms EN374-2:2003 and these gloves should be avoided.

"Smaller" is better...

When it comes to the AQL of your gloves, “SMALLER” is definitely better.

The smaller the AQL:

  • the tighter the quality control has been on the manufacturing process
  • fewer samples can fail the stringent tests before the manufactured batches can be sold
  • the fewer holes, rips, pinholes or very weak areas there will be in every 100 gloves

 

AND

  • The more relaxed you should feel about your wellbeing, safety and protection
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