• 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

    Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets for Linemen

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    Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets for Linemen

    Linemen require the proper materials to protect them from hazardous electrical conditions that could otherwise cause serious injury or death. Electrical insulating blankets serve as a type of barrier used to protect linemen from accidental contact with live components during energized line maintenance. The flexibility of these blankets enables them to be easily wrapped or folded around irregularly shaped components such as switchgear and transformers, thus providing adequate protection for workers. 

    What is An Electrical Insulating Blanket?

    Electrical rubber insulating blankets, also referred to as shock protection blankets, are used to cover energized components to protect linemen from various electrical hazards. More specifically, they serve as a cover-up for electrical equipment found in substations, switchboards, and cubicles. These blankets are available in various sizes, types, and classes, and they typically have eyelets that allow them to be easily secured using straps, buttons, or pins.

    Importance of Electrical Insulating Blankets

    The importance of electrical insulating rubber blankets for linemen comes mainly from their ability to protect workers from dangerous conditions. Every year in the United States, dozens of linemen are seriously injured or killed because of high voltage-related accidents. To prevent this, it’s important to implement safe work procedures and use personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to lower the risk of exposure for linemen. 

    In instances where a lineman must be closer than the safe distance to energized components, it’s crucial that all energized electrical conductors be insulated from other conductive objects as well as the worker. In these situations, using electrical insulating blankets to cover exposed live parts can prevent injury and death by protecting linemen from electrical shocks and accidents. 

    Inspection and Safety

    To ensure optimal performance and safety, electrical insulating blankets must be properly inspected before use. It’s important to roll blankets to check for age-cracking, corona cutting, snags, abrasions, tears, and scratches. They should be rolled at least two times on each side, with the second roll perpendicular to the first. Any blankets that show signs of damage should be removed from service.

    ASTM standards require electrical retests at least every 12 months, with in-field visual inspections at least every six months. More specifically, the ASTM testing and inspection process follow these steps:

    1. Check-in process
    2. Remove the previous testing marking
    3. Wash with cleaning agents that won’t degrade the insulating properties
    4. Interior and exterior visual inspection of all surfaces
    5. Electrical testing
    6. Final inspection
    7. Recordkeeping
    8. Marking
    9. Packing in appropriate containers for shipment or storage

    Electrical Insulating Blankets from Burlington Safety Laboratory

    Linemen are regularly exposed to energized components that, without the proper protection, can cause serious harm to workers. To ensure the safety of linemen, electrical insulating blankets can be used to cover hazardous live parts. 

    At Burlington Safety Laboratory, we are a go-to source for linemen’s protective equipment. As part of our offerings, we provide top-quality electrical insulating blankets designed to create a barrier between workers and energized electrical components. Depending on your particular needs, we can deliver protective blankets in a wide range of styles and sizes to ensure optimal protection. For more information about our shock-protection blankets and other electrical safety equipment, contact Burlington Safety Laboratory 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.