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Course 709 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Electrical Protective Equipment

Care and Use of Electrical Protective Equipment

To prevent injury from exposure to electrical conductors, it's important that all electrical protective equipment be maintained in a safe and reliable condition. Electrical protective equipment includes the following:

  • insulating blankets;
  • covers;
  • line hose;
  • gloves; and
  • sleeves made of rubber.

All electrical protective equipment made of rubber should meet the established safety standards and specifications discussed below.

Note: For more on this topic, see Course 715, Electrical Safety Basics.

Voltages

Maximum use voltages must conform to those listed in Table I-4.

Table I-4: Rubber Insulating Equipment Voltage Requirements
Class of Equipment Maximum Use Voltage1 (AC rms) Retest Voltage2 (AC - rms) Restest Voltage2 (DC - avg)
00 500 2,500 10,000
0 1,000 5,000 20,000
1 7,500 10,000 40,000
2 17,000 20,000 50,000
3 26,500 30,000 60,000
4 36,000 40,000 70,000

1 The maximum use voltage is the ac voltage (rms) classification of the protective equipment that designates the maximum nominal design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. The nominal design voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential is considered to be the nominal design voltage if:

  1. There is no multiphase exposure in a system area and the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-ground potential, or
  2. The electric equipment and devices are insulated or isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on a grounded wye circuit is removed.

2 The proof-test voltage shall be applied continuously for at least 1 minute, but no more than 3 minutes.

Inspecting Equipment

To make sure electrical protective equipment actually performs as designed, it must be inspected for damage before each day's use and immediately following any incident that can reasonably be suspected of having caused damage. Insulating gloves must be given an air test, along with the inspection.

electrical wiring
Damaged electrical outlet.

Defects

Insulating equipment must not be used if any of the following defects are detected:

  • a hole, tear, puncture, or cut;
  • ozone cutting or ozone checking (the cutting action produced by ozone on rubber under mechanical stress into a series of interlacing cracks);
  • an embedded foreign object;
  • changes in the texture including, swelling, softening, hardening, or becoming sticky or inelastic; or
  • any other defect that damages the insulating properties.

Insulating equipment found to have other defects that might affect its insulating properties must be removed from service and returned for testing. It must be cleaned as needed to remove foreign substances. It must be stored in such a location and in such a manner to protect it from:

  • light;
  • temperature extremes;
  • excessive humidity;
  • ozone; and
  • other injurious substances and conditions.
Inspecting Gloves - Lineman's Testing Labs

Electrical Protective Gloves

Protector gloves must be worn over insulating gloves. An exception is when using Class 0 gloves, under limited-use conditions, where small equipment and parts manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity. But, it's important to note that extra care must be taken while visually examining the glove. Also, make sure to avoid handling sharp objects.

Any other class of glove may be used for similar work without protector gloves if the employer can demonstrate that the possibility of physical damage to the gloves is small and if the class of glove is one class higher than that required for the voltage involved. Insulating gloves that have been used without protector gloves may not be used at a higher voltage until they have been tested.

Testing

Electrical protective equipment must be subjected to periodic electrical tests. Test voltages and the maximum intervals between tests must be in accordance with Table I-4 and Table I-5.

Table I-5: Rubber Insulating Equipment Test Intervals
Type of Equipment When to Test
Rubber insulating line hose Upon indication that insulating value is suspect and after repair.
Rubber insulating covers Upon indication that insulating value is suspect and after repair.
Rubber insulating blankets Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; and after repair.
Rubber insulating gloves Before first issue and every 6 months thereafter1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; after repair; and after use without protectors.
Rubber insulating sleeves Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; and after repair.

1 If the insulating equipment has been electrically tested but not issued for service, the insulating equipment may not be placed into service unless it has been electrically tested within the previous 12 months.

The test method used must reliably indicate whether the insulating equipment can withstand the voltages involved. Repaired insulating equipment must be retested before it may be used by employees.

Note: Standard electrical test methods considered as meeting this requirement are given in the national consensus standards of The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

If the insulating equipment fails to pass inspections or electrical tests, it may not be used by employees. Below is a list of exceptions:

  • Rubber insulating line hose may be used in shorter lengths with the defective portion cut off.
  • Rubber insulating blankets may be repaired using a compatible patch that results in physical and electrical properties equal to those of the blanket.
  • Rubber insulating blankets may be salvaged by severing the defective area from the undamaged portion of the blanket. The resulting undamaged area may not be smaller than 22 inches by 22 inches (560 mm by 560 mm) for Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 blankets.
  • Rubber insulating gloves and sleeves with minor physical defects, such as small cuts, tears, or punctures, may be repaired by the application of a compatible patch. Also, rubber insulating gloves and sleeves with minor surface blemishes may be repaired with a compatible liquid compound. The patched area must have electrical and physical properties equal to those of the surrounding material. Repairs to gloves are permitted only in the area between the wrist and the reinforced edge of the opening.
American Safety High Voltage Test Lab

Certification

The employer must certify that equipment has been tested in accordance with the requirements of the standard, and the certification must identify the equipment that passed the test and the date it was tested.

Marking equipment and entering the results of the tests and the testing dates onto logs are two acceptable ways to meet this requirement.

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. According to Table I-4 below, the maximum use ac-rms voltage for a class 1 rubber equipment is ______.

Class of Equipment Maximum Use Voltage1 (AC rms) Retest Voltage2 (AC - rms) Restest Voltage2 (DC - avg)
00 500 2,500 10,000
0 1,000 5,000 20,000
1 7,500 10,000 40,000
2 17,000 20,000 50,000
3 26,500 30,000 60,000
4 36,000 40,000 70,000

1 The maximum use voltage is the ac voltage (rms) classification of the protective equipment that designates the maximum nominal design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. The nominal design voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential is considered to be the nominal design voltage if:

  1. There is no multiphase exposure in a system area and the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-ground potential, or
  2. The electric equipment and devices are insulated or isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on a grounded wye circuit is removed.

2 The proof-test voltage shall be applied continuously for at least 1 minute, but no more than 3 minutes.

2. To make sure electrical protective equipment actually performs as designed, it must be inspected for damage _____.

3. Insulating equipment may still be used if you detect which of the following defects?

4. Which of the following is not a requirement if insulating equipment is found to have "other" defects that might affect insulating properties?

5. To certify electrical protective equipment has been tested, it is recommended that the employer _____.


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.