It’s imperative linemen and other electrical professionals take advantage of high-voltage rubber glove inspections every six months.
This is easily accomplished by partnering with the right electrical distributor. When engaging in glove inspections through Border States and RWW Restoration, for example, trained industry professionals ensure all rubber gloves are:
- Visually inspected
- Returned in sealed packaging
- Logged for customer records
NOTE: Distributor inspections should be done in strict compliance with OSHA 1910.137.
High-voltage rubber glove inspections key for PPE
Rubber insulating gloves are among the most important pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for people working with electricity. These gloves are classified based on the protection they provide against the level of voltage that could be encountered.
When inspecting gloves, the right distributor will be mindful that rubber insulating gloves must have high dielectric strength, as well as acceptable flexibility and endurance. Professionals will be able to successfully check for tears, holes, cuts, scratches or other flaws.
If any such damage is detected, a glove is deemed unusable in order to prevent potential injury.
Classifications for electrical protective gloves
- Class 0: Maximum use voltage of 1,000 volts AC/proof tested to 5,000 volts AC
- Class 1: Maximum use voltage of 7,500 volts AC/proof tested to 10,000 volts AC
- Class 2: Maximum use voltage of 17,000 volts AC/proof tested to 20,000 volts AC
- Class 3: Maximum use voltage of 26,500 volts AC/proof tested to 30,000 volts AC
- Class 4: Maximum use voltage of 36,000 volts AC/proof tested to 40,000 volts AC
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also requires thorough inspections of rubber gloves before each use. Check out this Northwest Lineman College video on how to inspect your gloves:
- Roll the entire outside surface between the hands.
- Always inspect both the outside and inside surface of each glove.
- If you find any suspicious areas, perform a more careful inspection by gently pinching and rolling the rubber between your fingers. Pay special attention to the base and tips of the fingers and thumb.
- Carefully pull the fingers and thumb apart from one another, looking for any irregularities.
- Perform an inflation test. You can do this either manually or by using a portable inflator.
- Manually: Roll the glove up about 1.5 inches. This will trap air in the palm and fingers of the glove. Then, squeeze the glove and hold it up to your ear, listening and feeling for any air leaks. If you sense an air leak in a specific area of the glove, you should destroy it and throw it away as it is no longer usable.
- Portable inflator: Slide the glove over the top of the inflator. Once the base of the glove is over the inflator, roll the rubber O-ring onto the glove, which will prevent the glove from flying off when you inflate it. Inflate the glove, then hold it up to your ear to listen and feel for any air leaks. This portable option helps you test the entire glove, not just the palm and fingers.
To learn more about high-voltage rubber glove inspections, contact a Border States Account Manager near you.