Electrical Safety Gloves

It is very important to keep electrical workers safe when working on electrical equipment, energized conductors or in close proximity to a live electrical current. Workers working on energized electrical parts mostly make use of their hands and are thus most susceptible to electric shock. Therefore these workers need a variety of electrically insulated protective equipment, one of them being the rubber gloves ─ electrical safety gloves.

Insulating rubber gloves provide an excellent means of protecting the workers from accidental electrical contact and thus they need to incorporate high dielectric, insulated qualities apart from being comfortable, flexible and durable.

To be effective these safety rubber gloves should conform to certain recommended dimensions like a specified size, shape, thickness, length, etc., after which tests are carried out to prove conformity with the specification. An acceptance test is then carried out to see if it is damage proof; if it doesn’t breakdown at voltage; and also tested for visible signs of ozone deterioration. The safety gloves then needs to be maintained in a safe, reliable condition.

The gloves also need to be inspected for any damage before each day’s use. Re-testing is still needed to verify the integrity of the material and to ensure if electrical safety is further maintained for the user. Gloves must also be inspected immediately following any event that may have led to damage like holes, rips or tears, ozone cutting, UV checking, and signs of chemical deterioration. Finally, the insulating gloves require to be given an air test along with the inspection.

Electrical safety gloves can be:

  1. Rubber Insulated Gloves,
  2. Leather Protective Gloves generally worn on top of the rubber gloves to provide mechanical protection and to prevent it from any damage, and/or
  3. Liner Gloves ─ gloves which can help reduce the discomfort of wearing rubber glove, which can provide warmth in winter and absorb sweat during summer.

For superior performance these rubber insulated gloves should meet and/or exceed the requirements following specifications outlined in those country standards, like for example, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlines this in their Electrical Protective Equipment Standard (29 CFR 1910.137). While reasonable life and care has been ensured by the various tests provided, it is recommended that the gloves should not be unnecessarily exposed to heat or light, or allowed to come in contact with solvents, oils, grease, turpentine or strong acid.

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