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Best Practice: Rubber Insulating PPE for the Live Line Tool Method on Distribution Lines


BEST PRACTICE
SUBJECT: RUBBER INSULATING PPE FOR THE LIVE LINE TOOL METHOD ON DISTRIBUTION LINES
PRACTICE STATEMENT:

Use of rubber insulating gloves and sleeves while performing distribution powerline tasks via the live line tool method.

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION:

A. When working primary voltages aloft:

For the purpose of this document M.A.D. is defined as the Minimum Approach Distance defined by applicable Federal, State or Local regulation. M.A.D. may also be known as "Primary Contact Zone", "Minimum Working Distance, "Within Reach", "Extended Reach", etc.

This Best Practice only applies to those applications where power-line workers are utilizing the "live line tool work method" aka – "hot sticking." Workers using the "live line tool work method" ("hot sticking") use insulating tools designed and intended for use while working on energized equipment and/or conductors. Workers using the "live line tool work method" are not permitted to make direct contact with energized equipment and/or conductors with their hands and are not permitted to be in a position where the worker can reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into the M.A.D. as prescribed in applicable Federal, State and Local Regulatory Standards.

It is not intended nor required that the Strategic Partnership Cradle-to-Cradle Rubber Glove Work Method Best Practice be applicable when power-line workers are using the "live line tool work method". The Cradle-to-Cradle Rubber Glove Work Method Best Practice applies only when work is to be done utilizing the "rubber glove work method". When a task requires the worker to reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into M.A.D. while using the "live line tool work method," the use of rubber insulating gloves and/or rubber insulating gloves and sleeves rated the voltage are required to be used as described in this Best Practice".

Donning of such PPE shall be done in a safe location so that M.A.D. requirements are not violated. This may include repositioning of the aerial lift to its cradled position. It should be noted however, incident investigations have revealed M.A.D. violations have occurred during "live line tool work method" operations. The intent of this Best Practice is to eliminate both M.A.D. encroachment violations and subsequent injuries.

Live Line Tool Method

  1. Rubber insulating gloves and sleeves are not required when working from a position where the worker cannot reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into the M.A.D. while using fiberglass insulating live line tools ("hot stick" method).
  2. Before getting into a position where the worker can reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into the M.A.D., approved protective equipment shall be used to insulate and/or isolate energized conductors and/or parts.
  3. Rubber insulating gloves shall be worn when tasks require the worker to reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into the M.A.D. when there is no upper arm exposure, even when proper cover is utilized.
  4. Insulating rubber gloves and sleeves shall be worn when tasks require the worker be in a position where the worker can reach into, extend any conductive object into, or extend any other part of the body into the M.A.D. when all the above precautions have been taken and upper arm exposure still exists.
BENEFITS:
  • Provides specific use requirements that are proven methods for reducing electrical contact injuries and fatalities.
  • Provides for uniform use guidelines that can be applied industry wide.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The ET&D Partnership maintains a Web site in support of this Partnership. For more information on Best Practices visit Powerlinesafety.org

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