New EBooks Explain the Dielectric Testing Processes Provided by Burlington Safety Laboratory

Did you ever wonder what happens to your personal electrical safety equipment after it is sent to us for testing?  Well, now you can read about all the steps we take when testing every personal electrical safety product in 8 new ebooks we developed that can be found on the Dielectric Laboratory Testing page of our website!

These ebooks are packed with interesting and informative details.  For example, did you know that all electrical safety gloves sent to us for testing are fully certified to ASTM standards within 2 weeks?  Or, the fact that we can refurbish old damaged hot sticks back to like-new condition?

Most impressive of all is learning about the level of care that is taken by our laboratory technicians and detail that goes into testing and certifying EVERY piece of equipment sent to us.  Nothing is tested without first being cleaned and visually inspected, then re-inspected after dielectric testing.  And nothing leaves our testing lab without being certified with a stamp and packaged with documentation.

dielectric testing process ebooks-BSL

 

Download any (or all) of the ebooks for a quick but complete description of the dielectric testing process every product goes through that is provided to Burlington Safety for testing.

ASTM F712

Introduction to ASTM F712 & Initial Testing

ASTM_F712ASTM F712 covers the standard test methods and specifications for electrically insulating plastic guard equipment for the protection of workers. However, a notable aspect of F712 is its exemption from requiring initial testing for plastic guards and coverings. This means that after the plastic equipment is manufactured, it is not required to be tested before being sold to the end user. This exemption has sparked debate regarding whether plastic gear should undergo more stringent assessments. In contrast, manufacturers of rubber goods are mandated to conduct initial tests on rubber equipment, raising questions about the rationale behind the disparity. Nevertheless, the significance of conducting an initial test warrants further exploration.

Is Initial Testing Important?

Initial testing serves to validate the quality of equipment manufacturing, ensuring meticulous execution of molding processes to guarantee safety in usage. So why is an exception made for plastic? Well, for starters, the material properties of plastic are generally more consistent and predictable in their behavior during manufacturing compared to rubber. When taking a look at rubber equipment, oftentimes the molding process for rubber can occasionally encounter issues such as sticking, leading to compromised quality and subsequent failure during the initial testing phase. On the other hand, the manufacturing processes of plastic often result in more uniform properties, reducing the need for initial testing to ensure quality. But does this mean that initial testing for plastic is not needed at all? Cutting out initial tests comes at the cost of higher risk to the end user. Without ensuring that the plastic equipment was manufactured correctly, the only way for end-users to ensure their own safety is to visually inspect the equipment before use. Even this has its risks, however, as it raises questions about the trade-off between efficiency and ensuring reliability.

Implications and Further Directions

If plastic cover-ups were required to be initially tested, what could we expect? First, manufacturers would have to find a means to test the equipment. Not only does this mean added required machinery, but it also means less streamlined production, more hours put into manufacturing, and more sunk costs for manufacturers when a cover-up fails its initial test. This results in marginally higher prices for the end user because of the added resources needed for production. Does this justify putting the end user at more risk by not requiring an initial test? Because plastic equipment is considered secondary cover and the manufacturing of plastic is generally more consistent than rubber, an argument could certainly be made that it is not worth requiring an initial test for all plastic equipment to prevent the rare occasion that one piece of equipment is faulty. After all, it is secondary cover. On the other side of the argument, failure to mandate an initial test for equipment places end users at heightened risk of injury or even death. Sure, it’s rare for the manufacturing of plastic equipment to result in faulty equipment. But without an initial test, is there a way to be sure? So what do you think? Should an initial test be required for plastic equipment?

Contact Us to discuss your electrical safety testing needs

What Is The Purpose Of Dielectric Testing?

Dielectric Testing Process

Here are the basic steps involved in the dielectric testing process:

  • Check-in
  • Removing previous testing marking
  • Washing using cleaning agents that will not degrade the insulating properties
  • Visual inspection of all surfaces (inside and out)
  • Electrical testing
  • Final inspection
  • Recordkeeping
  • Marking
  • Packing in appropriate containers (“appropriate containers” means boxes, or similar sturdy packaging materials to prevent folding, creasing or similar loose storage that can cause stress on the rubber) for storage or shipment

What Is The Purpose Of Dielectric Testing?

The purpose of personal protective equipment dielectric testing is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of electrical protective gear by testing its ability to withstand electrical current. This type of testing is done to identify any defects or weaknesses in the equipment’s insulation and to verify that it meets the necessary safety standards. By evaluating the dielectric strength of the PPE, potential electrical hazards can be minimized, and workers can be provided with reliable protection against electrical shocks and other electrical risks.

Benefits of Dielectric Testing

Dielectric testing for personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to the testing of the electrical insulation properties of the equipment to ensure its safety and effectiveness in protecting against electrical hazards. The benefits of dielectric testing for PPE are as follows:

  • Ensures safety: Dielectric testing helps ensure that the electrical insulation properties of PPE are functioning effectively. This is crucial in protecting workers from electrical shocks, burns, and other injuries that can occur in electrical work environments.
  • Compliance with regulations: Many regulatory bodies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), require regular dielectric testing of PPE, particularly for electrical gloves and other equipment. Compliance with these regulations is necessary to avoid penalties and legal liabilities.
  • Identification of defects: Dielectric testing can detect defects or damages in electrical insulation materials that may not be visible to the naked eye. Identifying these defects can prevent the use of faulty or compromised PPE, thereby enhancing workplace safety.
  • Prevents equipment failure: By testing PPE for its dielectric properties, potential electrical breakdowns or failures can be identified before they occur. This helps prevent accidents and unplanned downtime caused by equipment failures

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