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Cut Protection Overview: Materials, Industries, and Applications

ANSI/ISEA Cut Levels

ANSI Cut GuideThe American National Standards Institute’s ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 cut resistance standard uses a nine (9) level scale. This easily helps users identify and zone in on the cut resistant glove and sleeve required for the specific hazard faced. The level of cut resistance extends from 0 to 6,000 grams, based on tests by a Tomodynamometer (TDM Method), which moves a blade across the material. The higher the weight required to cut the materials the higher the cut resistance rating. A higher rating provides the wearer with better protection and cut performance. Be sure to download our PDFs found below, which provides more in-depth knowledge.

ANSI / ISEA Testing Diagram
Diagram for the ANSI/ISEA testing process with a Tomodynamometer (TDM Method)



Different materials provide different levels of cut protection. The right balance between protection and comfort is key to staying safe on the job and ensuring you will want to wear the gear.

Below is a good general guideline when considering cut resistant materials.


General Guide to Cut Resistant Materials and Technologies

Material Cut
Resistance
Abrasion
Resistance
Heat
Resistance

Dexterity
MCR
Style
Kevlar®



9375
Kevlar® / Steel Blend



9399
Armor Tech
Dyneema®
Diamond Tech


-
9676
Dyneema®
Diamond Tech / Steel Blend


-
9672DT5PU
Alycore®

-
PD2905A
Spectra/Fiber
Glass Reinforced


-
9346D
"Memphis Survivor"
Steelcore® II
Synthetic/Steel blend


-
9356
"Steelcore® II"
Key Performance

Extreme Cut Protection

Excellent

Very Good

Good

Average
- Not Recommended

The above guide should be used only as a general reference point. Always keep in mind that each technology allows us to manufacturer cut resistant gloves and sleeves, not cut proof. You will find a lot more information for the specific cut resistant technologies in each dedicated feature page.

 


Industries - Cut Dangers Lurks Everywhere

Cuts and lacerations occur at a rate of 8.1 incidents for every 10,000 workers.  If you’re a worker, chances are good that either you or one of your co-workers will be cut at some point.  If you’re an employer, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be shelling out money for lost productivity and health care costs sooner or later.  Therefore, it only makes sense to provide appropriate PPE on the front end, to both protect your workers and to potentially save on indirect costs associated with injury. 

Many industries have at least some level of hazard from cuts and lacerations, but workers in accommodation and food services, construction, retail trade, manufacturing, and utilities face elevated cut and laceration risks.  See the table below. 

 
Industry Cases of Cuts and Lacerations Total Number of Nonfatal Injuries
Accommodation and Food Services 18.2 78,560
Construction 17.9 79,890
Retail Trade 11.5 123,770
Manufacturing 10.9 122,610
Utilities 7.2 90,990

Top Industries with Cut Injuries

One surprising trend is that cuts and lacerations are now more common in the retail trades than in manufacturing, and the injury numbers there are rising.  Opening boxes and handling box cutters is an application that many workers forget can easily cause dangerous cuts.

 


N9690TC protecting a worker’s hand from a box cutter.

 


Most Dangerous Occupations by Incident Rate

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, food preparation positions claim the #1 spot on the top 20 list of cut and laceration injuries by occupation.  By the numbers, food is more dangerous to work with than sheet metal. 

Here are the top 20 occupations with the highest cut, laceration, and puncture incident rates, as reported by the BLS:

Occupation Incident Rates (Per 10,000 workers)
Cuts, Lacerations, and Punctures Total Incidence Rate
Food Preparation Workers 94.5 290.8
Sheet Metal Workers 86.5 289.9
Installers 56.8 319.5
Dishwashers 53.4 145.6
Construction Laborers 46.1 265.3
Chefs and Head Cooks 39.5 182.7
Food Servers, Non-Restaurant 34.5 201
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics 34 207.2
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 31.6 262.4
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers by Hand 30.9 297.8
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers 30.3 151.4
Police and Sheriff Patrol Officers 28.6 497.7
Correctional Officers and Jailers 28.3 420.2
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 28.3 163.9
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Workers 28.1 235.9
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria 26.2 184.9
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 26 193.7
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 25.7 194.1
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists 24.6 246
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 20 277.4

Here is how the BLS computes the total incident rate:

 


Cut Injury Sources

We highlighted the primary sources of puncture injuries, applications, and events in our Top ANSI Puncture Resistant blog.  Cut injuries occur from many of the same incidents; however, there are some sources that cause more cuts than punctures.  The BLS reports the following as the main sources in 2017 where cut injuries occurred:

  • Tools, instruments, and equipment – 29,680 injuries

 
Construction tools can quickly lacerate a worker’s hand.

  • Hand tools – 19,430 injuries
  • Parts and materials – 14,770 injuries 
  • Machinery – 12,650 injuries
  • Knives – 11,010 injuries

Not listed in our puncture blog, mostly sources of cut injuries:

  • Containers, furniture, and fixtures – 9,030 injuries
  • Structures and surfaces – 6,320 injuries
  • Box cutters and razor knives – 5,440 injuries
  • Vehicles – 4,420 injuries
  • Metal and woodworking – 3,520 injuries
  • Food slicers – 3,050 injuries
  • Structural metal materials – 3,030 injuries

 
Structural metal is always a cut concern.  1400K (shown here) is lined with DuPont™ Kevlar®.

 


Events Causing Injuries

Below are the top events that cause cuts and lacerations in the above occupations:

  • Contact with objects and equipment – 66,030 injuries 
    There are many variations of this injury that occur: workers struck by equipment or an object, workers struck against an object or equipment, falling equipment, slipped object, swinging object, object breaking in hand, workers caught in running equipment, etc. 
  • Falls, slips, and trips – 5,240 injuries
  • Transportation incidents – 1,070 injuries

Any metal object or equipment will quickly lacerate a worker’s hands.


Applications Where Cut Protection Is Required

Aircraft Assembly Handling aluminum strips Oily metal part handling
Automotive assembly Handling cables and wires Plate glass handling
Bending, pressing, punching, and shaping metal Handling mold plates Power tool handling - drill, nail, and screw gun
Carpet knife and installation Handling plumbing valves Precision mechanics
Circuit board work Heavy metal stamping Presswork and metal handling
Component aligning and handling HVAC sheet metal handling Pulling lines
Cutting ductwork and sheet metals Installing ceramic tiles Razor knife handling
Cutting pipe Installing electrical boxes Sharp steel handling
Cutting tool operating Light fixture installation Sheet metal assembly
Deburring Light metal assembly Small parts handling w/ sharp edges
Delicate metal handling Light metal fabrication Solar panel installation
Drywalling Light metal handling Sub-assembly work
Electronics assembly Light metal stamping Tree cutting
Fastening and wiring Maintenance repair Untrimmed parts handling
Fisheries and handling fish Manufacturing appliances Warehouse receiving / shipping
Food canning and bottling Metal ceiling frame work Waterproof piping
Glass handling and installation Metal stamping Window frame installation
Grinding and filing Metal stud framing Working around sharp edges
Moving metal work pieces Utility knife handling

Sheet Metal Industry Page

Sheet metal is ranked #2 on the list above.  We have an entire industry page dedicated to this type of work.  Just click the image to learn more about the protection this worker will require. 

 

 


Additional Information


Cut Protection Focused Industry-Leading Technology

Learn more about the technologies that fuel the fire behind our industry leading protective gear!

The cut resistant technologies we utilize are Alycore, DSM™ Dyneema®, and Dupont™ Kevlar®, Spectra Fibre, and Steelcore stainless shell. Each technology offers unique advantages, designed for keeping you safe across multiple industries and work environments. Some of these include: Automotive, Construction, Food Preparation and Processing, Manufacturing, Metal Fabrication, Metal Stamping, Oil & Gas, Recycling and Waste Management. Each of these industries have applications where different cut resistant technologies are needed and where these technologies perform best, which is why we utilize so many. When performance matters most, when you want to take protection to the next level, look to MCR Safety’s cut resistant products!

MCR Safety Alycore Logo

Alycore®

Alycore™ is one of the most ANSI Cut and puncture resistant materials available on the market, period.
DyneemaDiamondLogo

Dyneema®

Dyneema® Diamond Technology fiber makes possible higher levels of cut protection with enhanced dexterity. Proof is in the numbers...
MCR Safety Dupont Kevlar Logo

DuPont™ Kevlar®

DuPont™ Kevlar® is the ideal choice for applications requiring cut and heat, due to its ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

Cut & Slice Protection from Our Blog


Want more info for gash, laceration, chop and any other types of cut protection? Check out our latest articles from our blog.

Our Best Cut Resistant Gloves: ANSI A9 Level
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Five Factors to Check to Decide if Diamond Tech Gloves are Necessary
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All About Cut Resistant Glove Levels
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10 Facts about Our Award Winning Cut-Resistant Work Gloves made with Orange DuPont™ Kevlar®
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