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Insulating Gloves and Sleeves
Personal Protective Equipment
Insulating Gloves and Sleeves
Insulating gloves and sleeves are critical PPE for electrical work on or near
exposed energized parts. The "269" standard (1910.269(l)(2)(i) and (l)(3))
- Insulating (rubber) gloves along with leather protectors must be worn by
269-qualified employees within the Minimum Approach Distance to exposed energized
- Insulating (rubber) sleeves must also be worn if the upper arms or shoulders
are within the Minimum Approach Distance to other exposed energized parts.
Additionally, 1910.137 provides specific design, care, and use requirements for
rubber electrical protective equipment. Insulating gloves and sleeves must be
rated for the voltage to which a worker will be exposed (phase to ground or
phase to phase) and marked to indicate their rating. 1910.137 recognizes Class 0 (up to 1KV) through Class 4 (up to 36KV) rubber equipment.
[See Mr. Edwin Hill Interpretation Letter (September 27, 2005)].
Testing and Inspection. Gloves and sleeves must be electrically tested before
being issued for use. They must also be visually inspected and gloves need to be
air tested for any possible defects (for example, cuts, holes, tears, embedded
objects, changes in texture) before each day's use and whenever there is a
reason to believe they may have been damaged. Best practice is to inspect PPE
and air test the gloves and sleeves before each use. [See 1910.137(b)(2)].
In addition, the gloves and sleeves must be electrically tested at regular
intervals of not more than 6 months for gloves and 12 months for sleeves. (See ASTM F496, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and
Sleeves for some appropriate test methods.) When gloves and sleeves are used
regularly, best practice is to test as frequently as monthly. [See 1910.137(b)(2)].
- Insulating equipment may not be used if any of the following defects are
present: holes, tears, punctures or cuts, ozone cutting or ozone checking,
embedded foreign objects, texture changes, including swelling, softening,
hardening, or becoming sticky or inelastic, and any other defect that damages
the insulating properties. [See 1910.137(b)(2)(iii) and ASTM F1236-96, Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of
Electrical Protective Rubber Products].
- Insulating equipment failing to pass inspection must be removed from service
and may not be used by workers.
Protector Gloves and Storage. To ensure worker safety and the integrity of the
gloves and sleeves, insulating gloves need to be worn along with protector
gloves (such as leather), and both insulating gloves and sleeves need to be
stored properly when not in use. Proper storage means that gloves must not be
folded and need to be kept out of excessive heat, sunlight, humidity, ozone, and
any chemical or substance that could damage the rubber. [See 1910.137(b)(2)].
For additional information on the use of insulating gloves and sleeves, see ASTM
F496, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and
Sleeves, and ASTM F1236-96, Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical
Protective Rubber Products. Additionally, see 1910.137(b)(2).
The proposed rule recognizes Class 0 and 00 gloves. See the proposed rule for additional information.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum Approach Distances