Shockproof gloves are a necessary requirement at every workplace. Why? Because when a person works in a factory or construction site, they may regularly come in contact with electrical supplies and tasks that require operating electrical equipment.
This becomes even more common for people who work exclusively in the electrical department, fixing up wiring issues, using different highly-charged equipment, etc. In such cases, it becomes really important to use proper protective equipment in order to save yourself from an electric shock that may end up either injuring you too badly or worse.
Therefore, wearing shockproof gloves is a requirement by OSHA when it comes to working in conditions where a worker is constantly exposed to high-voltage electricity. In this blog, we’ll discuss all the important aspects of wearing shockproof gloves, starting from electric hazards, requirements for the right PPE, and tips and tricks.
Common Electrical Hazards
To discuss common electrical hazards that require the use of shockproof gloves, it’s important to first consider the nature of exposure where PPE becomes necessary. This can apply to:
- Workers dealing with electrically charged equipment.
- Electrical work supervisors.
And it doesn’t apply to:
- Users of plugs, electric cords, and other everyday equipment
Workers exposed to conditions where they’ve to work with equipment with 50 or above voltage are more at risk of shock and require shockproof PPE. Common electrical hazards that cause injuries are:
- Faulty wiring
- Wrongly replaced fuse
- Getting exposed to water while working with electricity
- Using overworked or damaged plugs
- Misuse/incorrect use of equipment
In all of these cases, it’s recommended by OSHA to use proper shockproof gloves to ensure safety and avoid risks of injury. Hence, every worker who comes into contact with more than 50V of electricity should wear shockproof gloves as stated by law and provided by their employer.
General Requirements for Shockproof Gloves
Even though shockproof gloves are the recommended option, there are still a few requirements by OSHA to determine the level and quality of your electrical insulated gloves. For e.g. each pair of shockproof hand gloves should be tested after every 6 months to evaluate its resistance level to electricity. Furthermore, if the gloves have been tested but not issued for service, they shouldn’t be put into service if they haven’t been electrically tested for the last 12 months. Below are some more determinants of proper shockproof gloves.
OSHA’s electrical safety gloves are categorized by the level of protection they provide from electricity and ozone resistance. Check the table below for more information.
|Class of Equipment||Maximum Use Voltage (AC)||Proof Tested (VAC)||Proof Tested (VDC)|
The ozone resistance of a glove is further divided into Type 1 (not resistant to ozone) and Type 2 (resistant to ozone).
OSHA also recommends that gloves should be regularly inspected for cuts, holes, tears, and other forms of defects before every use, so that chances of discomfort and injury are eliminated. If any glove is found to have defects, it should be put out of service and sent for repair and retesting if possible, or disposed of entirely and replaced with new and high-quality shockproof gloves.
Selection and Use
1- Shock-rated PPE: Selected on the basis of voltage being dealt with.
2- Arc Rated PPE: Selected on the basis of incident energy level.
Some other requirements to select and use shockproof PPE are as follows:
- Determine the tasks that are to be performed.
- Select PPE based on those tasks.
- Inspect the safety gloves for deficiencies before using them.
- Use the electrical safety equipment according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Perform your tasks wearing shockproof gloves and equipment to be safe.
- Store the gloves properly after use to avoid wear and tear.
Important Tips to Ensure Electrical Safety at the Workplace
Following are some additional tips to ensure your employees stay protected from electrical hazards at the workplace.
- Perform electrical assessments at the factory/workplace, as this can keep workers protected from life-threatening injuries by eliminating any risks that no one had taken note of before the assessment.
- Aside from keeping your workers safe, performing timely electrical assessments can also mean you comply with OSHA’s requirements of electrical safety and avoid having to pay fines for your negligence.
- OSHA also states that employers and employees are required to identify electrical equipment using descriptive markings including its voltage, wattage, current, etc. Hence, giving employees the right kind of information, so they can proceed toward ensuring better safety standards.
- Furthermore, OSHA also states more requirements that workers need to adhere to in order to maintain a shockproof environment overall at the workplace. The NFPA 70E determines not just safety standards but also charts, tables, and other necessary details about the kind of PPE to use to stay safe from electrical hazards.
Furthermore, it’s always good to train your employees properly and after every regular interval on safety measures and practices at the workplace, this includes electrical as well as other hazards. Implementing any form of safety guidelines and practices at the workplace is something that leads to better and more efficient operations at the workplace, providing benefits to the business and the employees in the long run.
In order to make your workplace safer, you can read more about electrical and other forms of safety and maintenance on the website, Elite-Leather Creations. If you’re looking for a wide range of shockproof Arc Flash gloves, or need cut-resistant, driving, welding, assembly, and other forms of gloves and safety materials for your workers, you can check out the collection provided at ELC or contact their team for more information so that you can be guided through the process smoothly and invest in the right kind of PPE for your employees. You can check out the rest of the range on the website.