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Course 715 - Electrical Safety for Technicians & Supervisors

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

Electrical Protective Equipment

Electrical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Scope of 1910.1200
Electrical Protective Gloves

Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards must be provided with, and use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body protected and for the work performed. Personal Protective Equipment refers to items typically worn by a worker to provide protection from recognized hazards. PPE for the electric power industry generally includes:

  • safety glasses,
  • face shields,
  • hard hats,
  • safety shoes,
  • insulating (rubber) gloves with leather protectors,
  • insulating sleeves, and
  • flame-resistant (FR) clothing.

To prevent injury from exposure to electrical conductors, it's important that all electrical protective equipment be maintained in a safe and reliable condition. All electrical protective equipment made of rubber should meet the established safety standards and specifications discussed in the next few sections.

1. Electrical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all of the following EXCEPT _____.

a. rubber blankets
b. safety shoes
c. face shields
d. hard hats

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glove
Electrical Protective Gloves must be worn over insulating gloves.

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.

2. While wearing electrical protective gloves make sure to avoid handling _____.

a. dull objects
b. sharp objects
c. electrical equipment
d. power tools

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Insulating Protective Equipment (IPE)

Scope of 1910.1200
Heavy blankets can limit the effective of arc blast or flash.

Electric power workers working on high voltage circuits (600 V and above) often use Insulating Protective Equipment (IPE). Since IPE is not worn, it is technically not considered to be electrical PPE.

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

  • line hoses,
  • rubber hoods,
  • rubber blankets, and
  • insulating live-line tools (for example, hotsticks, switchsticks, or shotgun sticks) for protection.

3. Insulating Protective Equipment (IPE) includes all of the following EXCEPT _____.

a. hot sticks
b. rubber gloves
c. rubber blankets
d. line hoses

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Inspecting Equipment

Image of insulating blanket
Inspect for defects.

To make sure electrical protective equipment actually performs as designed, it must be inspected for damage at the following times:

  1. before each day's use, and
  2. 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.

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.

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

a. prior to the beginning of a work shift and monthly
b. before each use and quarterly thereafter
c. monthly and following any incident causing damage
d. before each day's use and when damage is suspected

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Testing

Image of Glove testing
Testing electrical protective gloves for defects.

Rubber insulating equipment is tested for maximum intervals between electrical testing according the schedule below:

Rubber Insulating Equipment and 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.
  • Testing electrical protective gloves.
  • Rubber insulating sleeves - Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; and after repair.

Footnote (1): If the insulating equipment has been electrically tested but not issued for service, it 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.

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.

5. When must all rubber insulating gloves be tested?

a. Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter
b. Upon indication that insulating value is suspect
c. Before the first issue and every 6 months thereafter
d. Before first issue and after repair

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General Electrical Protective Equipment and tools

Image of Glove testing
Safety signs alert people about electrical hazards.

Tools and handling equipment. When working near exposed energized conductors or circuit parts, use insulated tools or handling equipment if the tools or handling equipment might make contact with such conductors or parts. If the insulating capability of insulated tools or handling equipment is subject to damage, protect the insulating material.

Fuse handling equipment. Use fuse handling equipment, insulated for the circuit voltage, to remove or install fuses when the fuse terminals are energized.

Ropes and landlines. Make sure ropes and handlines used near exposed energized parts are nonconductive.

Shields, barriers, and materials. Use protective shields, protective barriers, or insulating materials to protect employees from shock, burns, or other electrically related injuries while they are working near exposed energized parts which might be contacted or where dangerous electric heating or arcing might occur. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for maintenance or repair, guard them to protect unqualified persons from contact with the live parts.

Alerting techniques. The following alerting techniques shall be used to warn and protect employees from hazards which could cause injury due to electric shock, burns, or failure of electric equipment parts:

  • Safety signs and tags. Safety signs, safety symbols, or accident prevention tags shall be used where necessary to warn employees about electrical hazards which may endanger them, as required by 1910.145.
  • Barricades. Barricades shall be used in conjunction with safety signs where it is necessary to prevent or limit employee access to work areas exposing employees to uninsulated energized conductors or circuit parts. Conductive barricades may not be used where they might cause an electrical contact hazard.
  • Attendants. If signs and barricades do not provide sufficient warning and protection from electrical hazards, an attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect employees.

6. If signs and barricades do not provide sufficient warning and protection from electrical hazards, what alerting technique must be used?

a. Orange cones
b. Work schedules
c. Announcements
d. Attendants

Check your Work

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Final Exam