Electrical Safety Gloves 101

Electrical Insulated GlovesElectrical safety gloves are the first line of defense for technicians and electricians who work closely with electrical equipment. Although arc flash suits help to minimize injury, electrical gloves provide critical direct protection. For this reason, a variety of protective glove designs have been developed to ensure that workers can conduct installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical wiring and equipment with minimal risk. 

At Burlington Safety Laboratory, safety comes first. We offer a full selection of electrical safety gloves, including rubber gloves, liners, and leather protectors in a variety of safety ratings.

Electrical Safety Glove Components

Electrical Safety Gloves

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Electrical safety gloves are typically used in conjunction with an outer leather protector to prevent damage to the rubber gloves. Cotton inner liners can be added to provide additional comfort. Each item serves a purpose in protecting workers from electrical current. 

  • Rubber Insulating Gloves: Available in a wide range of colors and cuff styles, rubber electrical gloves are divided into specific categories or classes based on OSHA voltage ratings. 
  • Leather Protector Gloves: Leather protectors are made to be worn over rubber insulating gloves to provide protection against cuts, abrasions and punctures.
  • Cotton Inner Liner: Liner gloves enhance the comfort of wearing rubber gloves and provide warmth in the colder months and absorb perspiration in the warmer months.

OSHA Ratings for Rubber Insulating Gloves

OSHA has established strict guidelines for rubber insulating glove ratings and usage. Based on ASTM D120 Standard Specifications for Rubber Insulating Gloves, OSHA’s ratings are as follows:

  • Class 00: Maximum 500V (AC) and 750V (DC)
  • Class 0: Maximum 1000V (AC) and 1,500 (DC) 
  • Class 1: Maximum 7,500V (AC) and 11,250 (DC)
  • Class 2: Maximum 17,000V (AC) and 25,500V (DC)
  • Class 3: Maximum 26,500V (AC) and 39,750V (DC)
  • Class 4: Maximum 36,000V (AC) and 54,000 (DC)

Types of Electrical Safety Gloves

In addition to OSHA ratings, electrical safety gloves are divided into two categories based on material resistance. Type I gloves are typically manufactured from natural rubber and do not exhibit ozone resistance. Type II gloves are generally made from synthetic rubber and are ozone resistant. Only class 00 and class 0 gloves are available in Type I and Type II.  All other gloves are made with Type I rubber.

Electrical Safety Glove Designs

Rubber insulating gloves can be divided into several categories based on voltage, cuff style and color.

  • Voltage Ratings: Insulated rubber gloves are categorized by the max voltage they can withstand.  They are divided into classes with Class 00 being the lowest and Class 4 being the highest.
  • Cuff Style:  Insulated rubber gloves are available in varying cuff styles including straight cuff, bell cuff and contour cuff.  Classes 00, 0 and 1 are only available in straight cuff.  Classes 2, 3 and 4 are available in all three cuff styles.
  • Glove Color: Insulated rubber gloves are available in a variety of colors with red and black being the most common for the lower classes 00 and 0 and dual color gloves being the most common for all other classes.  There is no difference in integrity between the colors, it’s just a personal preference.

High Voltage vs. Low Voltage Gloves

Typically low voltage gloves refer to class 00 and class 0 gloves and high voltage refers to classes 1 through 4.  Class 00  and class 0 gloves are available in both Type I and Type II rubber while all other classes are only made with Type 1 natural rubber.  The rubber insulating gloves are made with a dipping process to create the necessary thickness (or layers) of rubber to withstand the voltage required for that particular class of glove.  Low voltage gloves are thinner while high voltage gloves get thicker with each voltage rating.

Electrical Safety Glove Accessories

In addition to quality rubber insulating gloves, Burlington Safety Laboratory offers a variety of accessories, including: 

  • Leather Protectors: Leather protectors are made to be worn over rubber insulating gloves to provide protection against cuts, abrasions and punctures.
  • Rubber Insulating Sleeves: These provide added protection from the end of the glove to the shoulder to prevent accidental contact with charged equipment and cables. 
  • Storage Bags: Canvas storage bags provide an added layer of protection for rubber gloves and sleeves protecting them from the elements therefore improving their service life.
  • Additional Accessories: Glove liners, glove dust, sleeve straps, rubber goods cleaner, etc.

Electrical Safety Gloves at Burlington Safety Laboratory

For more than 50 years, Burlington Safety Laboratory has been at the forefront of electrical safety testing and electrical PPE distribution. To learn more about our electrical safety gloves and accessories, visit our product page, or contact us today!

Hand Protection for Electrical Safety

When working in electrical applications, appropriate safety equipment is vital to protect workers from serious injury or death. Rubber insulated electrical safety gloves are one of the most significant types of personal protective equipment in these applications, as they help prevent injuries from electric shocks when working on energized equipment. 

Gloves and Sleeves

For over 50 years, Burlington Safety Laboratory has been a leader in providing testing services for insulated protective equipment.  Our facilities are accredited by NAIL for PET, and we continually meet or exceed the standards set by ASTM/ANSI, NFPA 70E, and CAL OSHA.  Additionally, we are a stocking distributor for the leading manufacturers of electrical PPE – Salisbury, Hubbell/Chance and Hastings.  Not only can we test your existing PPE to keep it in compliance, we can also provide new electrical PPE as needed.

What are Electrical Safety Gloves?

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Hand Protection for Electrical Safety Infographic

Insulating rubber gloves are one of the most important pieces of protection for electrical workers.  Sometimes referred to as lineman’s gloves, electrical safety gloves are composed of highly dielectric, strong insulating rubber and are designed to protect technicians who are working on energized electrical equipment and power lines. These gloves are vital for the safety of electrical workers, as they prevent injuries from electric shocks. Due to their importance in employee protection, rubber insulating gloves must meet NFPA 70E standards and ASTM D120 specifications to ensure their efficacy.

Electrical safety gloves must also combine several properties to function. They must be strong and durable while also providing enough flexibility for the technician to work. They must also have dielectric properties. Typically, electrical rubber gloves will be categorized by their resistance to ozone and by the level of voltage protection offered. 

Electrical safety gloves are available in two types:

  • Type I gloves. Type I gloves are composed of natural rubber and do not offer any ozone resistance. 
  • Type II gloves. These are the most common type of electrical safety gloves. They are composed of synthetic rubber and offer ozone resistance. 

Advantages of Electrical Rubber Gloves

The primary advantage of electrical rubber gloves is employee safety. These gloves provide workers with protection from electrical currents during work on or near energized equipment. 

Due to the inherent risks of electrical work, OSHA and NFPA 70E standards dictate that workers must use electrical rubber gloves in any application where there is a chance of coming in contact with at least 50 volts AC. Additionally, the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.137 standard states that these gloves must be specifically rated for the voltage an employee may be exposed to. Manufacturers must clearly mark electrical rubber gloves to display their rating.

Manufacturers must also always test the gloves at a specified proof test voltage prior to releasing them for sale. Once the glove reach the end user, ongoing maintenance of the rubber safety gloves is required for worker safety. OSHA dictates that any technician using the gloves must inspect them for damage before every use and have them recertified at a NAIL accredited laboratory every 6 months during use.

 

Electrical Rubber Glove Applications

In any scenario where a worker may encounter energized electrical equipment, appropriate hand protection is vital. Maintenance technicians and electricians will often require electrical rubber gloves, particularly when working in any of the following fields:

  • Utilities and public works 
  • Gas and oil 
  • Transportation works
  • Automotive
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Elevator installation and repair 
  • Field services

Other industries and applications that commonly utilize electrical safety gloves include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Hospitals
  • Water plants
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Office buildings
  • Schools 

Hand Protection for Electrical Safety at Burlington Safety Laboratory

Appropriate hand protection is vital in protecting employees that work on energized electrical equipment. For over 50 years, Burlington Safety Laboratory has been testing and distributing personal protective equipment for use in electrical applications. We perform testing at our NAIL for PET accredited facilities, and our testing procedures follow all ASTM/ANSI, NFPA 70E, and CAL OSHA standards.

In addition to performing testing, we also stock protective equipment from an array of trusted manufacturers, including Hastings, Hubbell, and Salisbury. Our product line includes a diverse range of equipment to meet the safety needs of our customers. To learn more about our capabilities and insulating rubber glove offerings, contact us today.

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